(CN) – The number of conservative-leaning states has dropped from 44 to 39, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday.
The survey, conducted over a number of polls taken throughout the year, found that 35 percent of Americans identified themselves as conservative, compared to 26 percent as liberal. This is a significant drop from last year when 46 percent identified as conservative.
According to researchers at Gallup, the unpopularity of Donald Trump’s presidency may have something to do with the change in numbers.
“Nationally, conservatism was on the lower end in 2017 after varying in a narrow range over the past two decades, while liberalism has steadily increased,” the poll states. “What happens next isn't highly predictable, except to say that it may partly depend on how Americans view the leader of the party most associated with political conservatives – Republican President Donald Trump. His subpar job approval rating in 2017 may have starved conservatism of the political fuel needed to thrive while helping to feed liberalism.”
According to poll results, Wyoming was the most politically conservative state for the second year in a row at 33 percent of state residents who identify as conservative. Vermont and Massachusetts, meanwhile, were identified as the most liberal states.
Gallup’s researchers also note that Americans are taking more liberal stances on certain issues, which may have affected the results.
“However, bigger forces are also at work, including demographics – with younger liberal adults replacing older conservatives in the population – as well as increasing support for liberal positions on same-sex marriage, marijuana legalization and a host of other social issues possibly changing how some Americans define their broader ideological and political views,” the poll states.
Election results in the Midwest are already demonstrating this new moderate and left-leaning bent. In a special election held Tuesday night, Missouri voters in the 97th District in Jefferson County voted in a Democrat for a Missouri state House seat. In 2016, that same district carried Donald Trump by 28 percent.
In 2016, Kansans voted in a new wave of Democrats and moderate Republicans to state government, replacing many Tea Party candidates.
Michael Czerniewski, a member of the Kansas Democratic Party who ran for a state House seat in 2016, said some Republicans who run for office in Kansas are more aligned with Democrats but fear being unelectable in the deep red state and prefer to identify with the GOP.
“On the Republican side, I think it can be attributed to moderates – who, in my opinion, should be registering as Democrats – running on the perception (I would say myth) that Democrats can’t get elected,” Czerniewski said in an email to Courthouse News.
In a separate Gallup poll released earlier this week, Trump’s approval rating edged up slightly to 40 percent over the last week. While that is a slight gain, Trump still retains a 57 percent disapproval rating that remained unchanged from the week before.
The last time the president achieved a 40 percent approval rating was in May 2017, the same month Special Counsel Robert Mueller launched an investigation to explore any improper contact between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
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