Voters See Democratic Party as More Ideologically Extreme Than GOP by 9 Points: Poll

October 2, 2023

Voters see the Democratic Party as more ideologically extreme than the Republican Party, a new poll finds.

The data, from a Morning Consult poll conducted last month, show voters see Republicans as less extreme by a 9 point margin. Just 38 percent said the Republican Party is too conservative, compared with 47 percent who said the Democratic Party is too liberal. Respondents also said Republicans are more capable at governing and keeping the country safe.

The findings represent a shift in voters' positions since the 2020 presidential election, Morning Consult reported:

In a significant reversal from the last presidential election year, U.S. voters are now more likely to see the Republican Party as capable of governing, keeping the country safe and tackling the big issues compared with the Democratic Party. These crossing trend lines provide a stark contrast from the lead-up to 2020, when Morning Consult surveys showed public opinion on the same questions was more static.

Both parties are also trending in different directions on two other characteristics that voters favored Democrats on in 2020. Voters have become less likely to see the GOP as stale, and more likely to say this descriptor fits the Democratic Party. And over that same time frame, voters increasingly say the GOP is responsible.

It’s not just that some voters have lost faith in the Democratic Party’s stewardship of the country — they also see the party as moving asymmetrically away from ideological moderation.

Voters by a 3 point margin said Republicans are more capable of governing, 47 percent to 44 percent.

The results come after another poll last month found that one-third of Democrats believe Americans' free speech should be more restricted.