More Arizonans Calling Themselves Moderates, Fewer Calling Themselves Conservatives

The percentage of Arizonans who call themselves "conservative" is down, and the percentage who call themselves "moderates" is up, according to Gallup's annual poll on the subject.

Gallup's done this poll for years now, and this is the first time in at least five years that moderates outnumbered the conservatives.

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That follows the trend of the state's voter-registration statistics, in which there are nearly more independents than Republicans (1.12 million to 1.13 million).

According to Gallup's poll, 36 percent of Arizonans called themselves conservative, 38 percent called themselves moderate, and 22 percent called themselves liberal.

Although that seems like a huge gap between the right and the left, it's really not. Gallup explains that moderates "as a voting bloc, are solidly Democratic." At least, that's how they've been voting recently.

Compared to the rest of the states, Arizona's proportion of self-proclaimed conservatives is 30th -- which might seem low, considering everyone in the executive branch of state government is a Republican, as is a majority of lawmakers in both houses of the Legislature. Both U.S. senators are Republicans, but Arizona's Democrats have a one-man advantage in the state's delegation to the House of Representatives.

In polling done in 2010, not long after SB 1070 was signed into law, 39 percent of Arizonans were calling themselves conservative, compared to less than 37 percent saying they were moderate.

By the end of 2011, nearly 41 percent were calling themselves conservatives, compared to just 36 percent moderate.

And in 2012, some people honestly believed Barack Obama had a shot at winning Arizona, and there was a possibility a Dem could win an open U.S. Senate seat. They were wrong, but not quite lunatics.

Click here to find more information on this poll from Gallup.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley