An Arkansas woman wears various political items before the start of the Republican National Convention, August 27, 2012.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty

Poll: Conservative edge on social, economic issues shrinks

While Americans say they’re more conservative than liberal on economic and social matters, the right’s advantage on both is shrinking, according to a recent Gallup poll.

The Republican Party is particularly losing its edge when it comes to social issues—just 4% more Americans side with conservatives instead of liberals on those topics.

A full 21% more Americans identify with conservatives over liberals on economic issues—but that’s the lowest edge in the 14 years Gallup has asked the question in their annual Values and Beliefs poll.  

Since 2010, the conservative advantage on economic issues has dropped a full 10 points.

The news comes as the Republican Party aims to focus on economic issues and bolster the party ahead of midterms and 2016, after social issues contributed to the defeat of several high-profile Republicans in previous elections.

The shift is due to Democrats identifying their views increasingly as liberal, Gallup notes.

The downward trend has been evident on social issues for a decade; on economic issues, it appears to have started in 2007. Both trends were interrupted by a slew of progressive legislation passed by a Democratic House, Senate, and president, notably the Affordable Care Act in 2010, when the conservative advantage moved upwards before returning to its downward trend.

Overall, 37% of Americans say they are conservative, 35% say moderate, and 25% say they are liberal. Gallup surveyed 1,028 adults by land-line and cellphone between May 8-11; the margin of error is 4 points.