I am curious about the bipartisan divide in this country. But there is an additional segment that Gallup says makes up about 36 percent of people: moderates. Is this segment less civically engaged because of not having strong political leaning like liberals and conservatives do, albeit in opposite directions? Does that engagement translate to being overrepresented at the ballot box in the same way old people are?

By the way, I'm talking about those who describe themselves as moderate not necessarily independent. I want to know about their voting rate compared to more ideologically inclined citizens.

1 Answer 1


According to Pew Research Center analysis from 2012, a plurality of non-voters (38%) self-described as moderates, compared to 25% who identified as Liberal, and 28% as Conservative. In addition, 44% identified as Independents.

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In addition, this more recent Kaiser Family Foundation report from 2019 found that the majority (56%) of swing voters self-identify as moderate, compared to 16% as Liberal, and 26% as Conservative. It also notes in its key findings, that of these swing voters, nearly a quarter didn't vote in '16 or '18, and are 'less engaged on national politics', so we can possibly extrapolate from this that self-identifying moderates are less likely to vote or be civically engaged than those identifying as either Liberal or Conservative.

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    That's interesting. I was right in part. The moderates are (slightly) underrepresented and conservatives are overrepresented. But, liberals are slightly underrepresented as well. Jun 26, 2020 at 10:50
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    It makes sense that swing voters are less involved and hence more moderate. When moderates are factored out, 38% of swing voters are liberal. Applying the same metric, 45% of decided voters are liberal. (That is, of course, only including liberal and conservative identifiers.) Jun 26, 2020 at 10:53
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    As an independent whose views swing wildly from moderate to liberal to conservative, depending on the topic, I definitely feel disenfranchised by the system and my voting patterns refect that. I know many others of similar political background who feel the same about the system though many of them try to atleast take part a bit more than I do. Nonetheless, the sense that the system doesn't represent us in participation (as in our ability to participate due to legal restrictions favoring a 'party') or in governance, is practically universal.
    – ouflak
    Jun 26, 2020 at 12:13

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