In recent days, conservatives have renewed a long-running campaign to convince the American people that they live in a conservative nation and support conservative policies. Conservative talker Rush Limbaugh is leading the charge, but he’s been joined by a chorus of right-wingers as well.
Quoting the American Thinker, Limbaugh used a cherry-picked poll to falsely argue on his radio show yesterday that a “conservative majority” exists in America. He focused on a single question from a recent Battleground Poll in which respondents were asked to place themselves on a conservative-to-liberal ideological spectrum. Sixty percent of respondents labeled themselves “very conservative or somewhat conservative“:
LIMBAUGH: When 60% of the American people since 2002 in the same poll have identified themselves as very conservative or somewhat conservative, it makes no sense for the Republican Party to abandon conservatives. … There’s a reason Ronald Reagan won two landslides. It wasn’t marketing and packaging. It was that the overall conservative majority of the American people found in a candidate, one who was them.
The truth is, however, that the so-called “conservative majority” does not exist. While many American’s may call themselves conservative, the overwhelming majority of Americans support progressive policies. Indeed, a majority of Americans…
– Want universal health care.
— Want to expand environmental protections.
— Support increasing the minimum wage.
— Want abortion to remain safe and legal.
— Want federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
— Want to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for national priorities.
— Want same-sex couples to be legally recognized.
— Oppose the Iraq war.
Further, the Drum Major Institute found in their recent survey of the American middle class that a majority of both Democrats and Republicans favor similar policies. And after 8 years of conservative rule, a record 81 percent of Americans believe the country is on the “wrong track.”
As Media Matters explained last summer, “the movement of public opinion, particularly on social issues, seems to be in one direction: to the left.”