In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Poll: Majority Of Americans Not Quite Sure What 'Progressive' Means


Gallup notes that although the term is becoming more popular in national politics, relatively few Americans embrace it. While 12% of adults nationwide say "progressive" describes their views, 31% say it doesn't. Twenty-six percent of liberals, 11% of moderates, and 7% of conservatives say "progressive" describes their politics. By contrast, 17% of liberals, 23% of moderates, and 48% of conservatives say the word isn't a good fit.

The USA Today/Gallup poll also finds that self-described "progressives" vary widely in their understanding of the term. While 45% of "progressives" separately identify as "liberal" or "very liberal," a full 32% identify themselves as "moderate," and 22% identify as "conservative" or "very conservative."

For progressives -- the liberal kind -- this confusion may come with a silver lining. As Gallup points out, the word has avoided being "pigeonholed," and the scant opposition it receives from political moderates may indicate that, unlike "liberal," it hasn't become a dirty word.

The poll, which surveyed 1,014 adults, was conducted June 11-13. Its margin of error is ±4.0.