"Awkward Teen Years"
According to the Pew Center’s typology test I’m . . . a liberal. You’re shocked, I know. Lets learn more about us:
This group has nearly doubled in proportion since 1999, Liberals now comprise the largest share of Democrats and is the single largest of the nine Typology groups. They are the most opposed to an assertive foreign policy, the most secular, and take the most liberal views on social issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and censorship. They differ from other Democratic groups in that they are strongly pro-environment and pro-immigration, issues which are more controversial among Conservative and Disadvantaged Democrats.
Strongest preference for diplomacy over use of military force. Pro-choice, supportive of gay marriage and strongly favor environmental protection. Low participation in religious activities. Most sympathetic of any group to immigrants as well as labor unions, and most opposed to the anti-terrorism Patriot Act.
Who They Are
Most (62%) identify themselves as liberal. Predominantly white (83%), most highly educated group (49% have a college degree or more), and youngest group after Bystanders. Least religious group in typology: 43% report they seldom or never attend religious services; nearly a quarter (22%) are seculars. More than one-third never married (36%). Largest group residing in urban areas (42%) and in the western half the country (34%). Wealthiest Democratic group (41% earn at least $75,000).
Over the long run, the growth in the number of liberals is, I think, a good thing. At the moment, however, it’s a bit of a problem as both l’affaire Marcotte and some of Atrios’ recent writings on religion indicate. As long as secular people were a profoundly small group of Americans divided fairly arbitrarily between the parties, seculars were happy to stay quiet and accept the very marginal role American politics assigns to the view that there is no God. Once you see us emerge as a large and politically coherent block, however, we want respect, damnit. Nevertheless, America’s Christian majority — including a vast swathe of Democrats — don’t want to hear about how you think their religion is silly.
This, I think, is a lot of the appeal of someone like Barack Obama. He has a lot of the personal and biographical attributes of your typical liberal (in the Pew sense) but he’s also black, religious, etc. — a combo-Democrat.