Posted on November 8, 2011

Democrats More Liberal, Less White Than in 2008

Frank Newport et al., Gallup, November 7, 2011

In many respects, the demographic profile of Democrats nationwide is similar to what it was in 2008, although Democrats have become somewhat less white and more liberal than the party that nominated Barack Obama as its presidential candidate that year. As a group, Democrats are more likely than average to be women and nonwhite, less likely to be religious or married, much less likely to be conservative, and much more likely to be liberal than the U.S. population as a whole.


For this analysis, the Democratic population is defined as those who either identify as Democrats or who identify as independents but say they lean toward the Democratic Party. Between the start of 2008 and today, the percentage of Americans identifying as Democrats or leaning Democratic has fallen from 50% to 43%. The percentage identifying as Republicans has risen from 37% to 40%, while the percentage of “pure” independents who do not lean toward either party has gone from 12% to 15%. {snip}


2. The racial and ethnic composition of the Democratic Party has also changed slightly. The proportion of Democrats who identify their race as black grew by three percentage points, from 16% to 19%, over the last three years, while the proportion that is white (non-Hispanic) fell by three points, from 66% to 63%. This contrasts with a smaller one-point increase in blacks and two-point decrease in whites nationally.

The percentage of Democrats who are Hispanic rose by two percentage points, from 12% to 14%, identical to the increase among all Americans.