Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology


Even in an increasingly Red vs. Blue nation, the public’s political attitudes and values come in many shades and hues.

The 2014 Political Typology: Polarized Wings, a Diverse Middle

Partisan polarization – the vast and growing gap between Republicans and Democrats – is a defining feature of politics today. But beyond the ideological wings, which make up a minority of the public, the political landscape includes a center that is large and diverse, unified by frustration with politics and little else. As a result, both parties face formidable challenges in reaching beyond their bases to appeal to the middle of the electorate and build sustainable coalitions.

The latest Pew Research Center political typology, which sorts voters into cohesive groups based on their attitudes and values, provides a field guide for this constantly changing landscape. Before reading further, take our quiz to see where you fit in the typology.

The new typology has eight groups: Three are strongly ideological, highly politically engaged and overwhelmingly partisan – two on the right and one on the left. Steadfast Conservatives are staunch critics of government and the social safety net and are very socially conservative. Business Conservatives share Steadfast Conservatives’ preference for limited government, but differ in their support for Wall Street and business, as well as immigration reform. And Business Conservatives are far more moderate on social issues than are Steadfast Conservatives.

At the other end of the spectrum, Solid Liberals express liberal attitudes across almost every realm – government, the economy and business and foreign policy, as well as on race, homosexuality and abortion – and are reliable and loyal Democratic voters.

Taken together, these three groups form the electoral base of the Democratic and Republican Parties, and their influence on American politics is strong. While Solid Liberals, Steadfast Conservatives and Business Conservatives collectively make up only 36% of the American public, they represent 43% of registered voters and fully 57% of the more politically engaged segment of the American public: those who regularly vote and routinely follow government and public affairs.

Take the Typology Quiz
Discover which typology group you fit into and explore each group’s views on major issues.

Compare Typology Groups on Issues


Where Do You Fit in the Political Typology?

Take the quiz:


I got “Faith & Family Left”, whatever that means. I’ve never been on the “left” before. I’m not sure I like it over here. :stuck_out_tongue:


I got “Next Generation Left” which I guess is a little less left than “Faith and Family Left.” Interesting that the results concluded how I felt about abortion without actually asking how I felt about abortion (they were wrong in their analysis). But a fun way to pass time anyway, and I am liberal in a lot of ways. No surprise.


Stuff like this is nonsense. They’re casting these incredibly complex issues as either-or questions, which is stupid really. I got through question six before quitting.


I’m a “young outsider.”


Young Outsider

Probably because I find today’s republican party planks of “greed is good” and “illegal immigrants are vermin” repulsive while finding nearly everything in the Democratic party’s platform to be wrong at best, evil at worst.

So the “outsider” part is right anyways… :wink:


predictably solid liberal.

53% said business would be better of with out regulation??? that seems insane too me Too much is one thing but none??

71% think the country should protect the environment which gives me some hope. How you do that without regulation of business though?!?!?!?


To be fair, the questionnaire only gave two choices and they were opposite extremes. I certainly don’t think there should be no regulation. But I do think that not all regulations work out very well. I don’t even remember how I answered that question anymore because I was sort of straddling the fence.

Very carefully. :stuck_out_tongue:


:smiley: You’re “young at heart”, right? :stuck_out_tongue:


I got Young Outsider. But too many of the answers were choices of either extreme. This type of thinking in politics is the exact issue I have with both parties.


Steadfast Conservative:

This overwhelmingly Republican group holds very conservative attitudes across most issues, including social policy and the size and scope of government. However, they generally are critical of business and Wall Street. Overall, Steadfast Conservatives also express highly negative attitudes toward immigrants and take a skeptical view of U.S. global involvement. Compare groups on key issues.

Interesting there was only one real question on typical social issues, that of homosexuality. No mention of abortion, women’s rights, or anything else. Not that it would change my category.


:smiley: It’s kind of ironic that they use a questionnaire with questions that force you to choose between two extremes in order to make the point that people don’t generally fall at either extreme. :stuck_out_tongue:


That’s actually what I got, and it makes sense, considering what Catholic values are. As mentioned before, the poll used what appear to be extreme positions on each and every question, and most of our views don’t fit in to the extreme. Unfortunately, a large portion of the “Partisan Anchors”, especially the “Staunch Conservatives” and “Solid Liberals” actually appear to have views on the extremes - especially in Congress. Maybe this is why our government’s approval ratings are below 15%. When both sides have extreme views, there is no ability to find any common ground, because there is no common ground, or at least very little on things that actually matter.

But my question is - how do we explain voting in states like Michigan, where the Congressional delegation has a Dem majority, both Senators are Dems, hasn’t voted for a GOP Presidential candidate since 1988, but generally has a solid GOP majority in both of the houses of its state legislature, and often votes for GOP governors?


5 questions before I quit.

It was either Radical Left, or radical Right. I suppose a real questionnaire was too much work? Easier to have people answer stupid, shallow either or questions…


I didn’t like this test.

It failed to capture any real subtlety of thought.

It showed me as “solid liberal”. The result would have been different (at least how this test is written) if they asked any questions about abortion, same sex marriage, and sexual ethics.


I got “Business Conservative” which I most certainly am not. This questionnaire was stupid. You get two choices and they are both opposite extremes. No competent economist would make a questionnaire like this.

closed #18

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