Poll: Big Shifts in American Views on Social Issues


A new Gallup poll has some troubling news for the religious right: For the first time since the firm began asking the question in 1999, the percentage of Americans identifying as liberal on social issues is the same as the percentage identifying as socially conservative.

The poll, conducted May 6-10, shows that 31 percent of Americans now say their views on social issues are liberal, the highest percentage recorded by Gallup since 1999. Conversely, the percentage identifying their views on social issues as conservative has dropped to 31 percent, down 11 points since 2009. That year the percentage of socially conservative Americans was 17 points higher than the percentage identifying as socially liberal.

The dramatic closing of that gap is the result of changing attitudes among both Democrats and Republicans, according to the survey. Over the past six years, Democrats have become significantly more likely to identify as socially liberal while Republicans are likewise less likely to identify as socially conservative.

The release of the poll comes as a separate Gallup survey shows support for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples has reached 60 percent, a record high.

Perhaps these changing attitudes among Americans provide some explanation for the increasingly venomous and divisive rhetoric we hear from religious-right leaders and the politicians they support.

12 thoughts on “Poll: Big Shifts in American Views on Social Issues

  1. Well, to be in the majority is not to necessarily be right any more than being logical means one is right. The fact of the matter is that homosexuality is unnatural and one of two major evidences (suicide being the other) of total rebellion against a righteous and holy God. A Bible believing Christian can’t call it anything other than sin. That said, no Christian has the right to stand in God’s place in judgement. Men are agents of will and God will deal with each according to how the will is excercised.

    1. Hey Amazed – not all of us believe in your fairy tale nonsense. I know you truly think you’re right, but guess what, the sane among us don’t give a shit.

    2. So much of what every one of us does every day is unnatural. Using an A/C or a furnace, wearing glasses or contacts, getting a vaccine, any kind of surgery, eating anything with any kind of preservative, flying in an airplane… “It’s wrong because it’s unnatural” is a bad argument against anything.

      1. Amazed appears to subscribe to an item that is all the rage on the far right these days. The notion of “Natural Law.” The thing they forget is the basic Christian religious tenet that natural law was only right and perfect before the fall of Adam and Eve. From a purely religious perspective, any so-called “natural law” is immediately suspect of having been corrupted by Satan—meaning nothing we might wish to define as natural law is really trustworthy from a religious perspective right now.

  2. I believe nature proves the truthfulness of what I say. Also you needed be so course in your language, I am not in mine. If you want to have an intellectual discussion fine but lets not be so foul with the mouth. It detracts from your argument.

  3. FYI: We do our best to allow, as much as possible, a forum for people to discuss things freely. But we have a limit. Contributing different points of view about public policies regarding civil and equal rights is one thing. Promoting offensive arguments about the nature of people simply because of who they are is quite another. That includes arguments based on one’s religious beliefs. We wouldn’t allow someone to use this forum to promote deeply offensive bigotry targeting African Americans, women or Jews. Neither will we allow the same when it comes to LGBT people.

    1. Gosh Dan. I am glad you are still here on TFN after all these years. I love master communicators.

      Kathy Miller. Give this guy a raise.

  4. My problem with all this is the fact that I don’t believe the state has the right to legislate morality when dealing with people. That makes the country a police state.
    On the other hand one can’t argue for Civil Right or Civil Liberties and then ask the government to intercede because then someone almost always loses his or hers.
    Minds aren’t going to change on several of these issues. Nor do I care to change them. I just try to see the other side while maintainiung the integrity of my side.

    1. Guaranteeing someone’s civil liberties doesn’t cause someone else to lose his or hers. It’s not a zero-sum transaction. In fact, it’s not a transaction at all.

  5. The results of this Gallup Poll are exactly what I predicted here on the TFN Insider a number of years ago. All you have to do with a right wing extremist—or any other kind of extremist for that matter—is to give him a piece of rope for long enough—and he will be sure to hang himself in front of the American public. This is what the Religious Right and all these related, nutjob organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Tea Party, and Discovery Institute have done to themselves since 2010. They have opened up their trench coats, flashed their real penises to the American people, and the American people have recoiled in horror—especially the young people such as the members of the Millennial Generation. Now the American people know they are nutballs, and these nutballs have split the Republican Party right down the middle into warring factions, which any sane person could have easily predicted. Before this is over, the GOP may end up splitting into two separate political parties. Why? The Tea Baggers, Religious Right screwballs, and racist haters have a doctrine that says any kind of “compromise” is evil and intolerable—thus making it impossible. My only wonderment is what they will end up naming this new political party: The Lipton Ku Klux Jesus Party? Your guess is as good as mine.

    When you get finished looking around here at TFN Insider—one of the best blogs in America—be sure and come on over to the new blog here:


    It is a blog that uses the real tenets of the Christian faith to go after the religious traditions that keep the Religious Right alive. As Harry Truman might say: “We speak the truth about these religious traditions, and to those who follow them, it just sounds like Hell.”

  6. Well that argument is a little flawed because the Lord did give us things to enjoy. and a way to produce things.

    Now what I am talking about is the fact that there are fixed natural laws that we must operate in or else have serious problems. An airplane is made the way it is because it must be operated in a universe that works according to fixed natural laws. If you take off a wing vertical or horizontal stabilizer it will auger into the ground.

    When we try to live outside of fixed natural laws that is when we get into trouble. A fixed natural law is that which we can’t change but have to operate in the integrity of the structure.
    So some lifestyles are unnatural and do cause problems for individuals groups and societies.

  7. Hey Charles,

    No. When Adam and Eve sinned all kinds of problems came into existence. That doesn’t mean that certain elements of natural laws still don’t exist. (Gravity and such) Also in the case of Noah something happened between Ham and Noah and the Bible doesn’t tell us about the details but that there was something that was amiss and so the Lord cursed Canaan.
    It is kind of like saying man is basically evil. That doesn’t mean a man is rotten through and through. It means that men are affected by sin which manifests itself in different ways.
    Regardless God created men with dignity and because of that all need to be treated with respect regardless of lifestyle and religious persuasion. I may not agree with it but I sure am not going to be hostile to them because of it.
    If it comes into discussions I like a more tame logical approach. Both sides get way to emotional and become the center attention.

    Not good either side.