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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

What America Thinks: Will Candidates and Voters See Eye-to-Eye?

The presidential candidate field has grown even larger for both parties in recent days. Do voters have more in common with 2016’s contenders than they have had with the candidates in years past? We decided to find out what America thinks.

Most voters are either fiscally conservative or moderate, while only 15% are fiscally liberal. They’re nearly evenly divided ideologically on social issues, though. Overall, only a quarter of voters are conservative in both areas, and only 11% are both socially and fiscally liberal.

Generally speaking, voters feel past presidential nominees have been out of touch with them on a political level: Republicans have been too conservative, while Democrats have been too liberal, and they expect more of the same this time around.

But conservatives think the recent Democratic - and Republican - nominees have been more liberal than they are. Most liberals feel the GOP candidates have been too conservative, but they've been in general agreement ideologically with the Democratic contenders. Conservatives are a bit more hopeful that this year’s Republican nominee with hold the same ideological views they do, but they don’t expect much of a difference as far as the Democrat is concerned. Liberals expect more of the same from both parties.

Moderate voters have generally felt that both parties have been too ideologically extreme, but they don’t expect any change ahead, either.

Republican candidates will play to the right during the party primaries, while Democratic hopefuls will play to the left. The eventual nominees can then be expected to moderate their views. We'll check again to see what voters think then.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.