It appears those in Wyoming who consider themselves conservative on social issues have had more people from around the country joining their ranks recently.
Wyoming is known as one of the most conservative states in the nation, based on past election results, elected office makeup and other data. A Gallup poll conducted last month indicates more people in all 50 states are identifying as socially conservative than did in the recent past.
About 38% of the national poll respondents told Gallup that they see themselves as conservative or very conservative on social issues. That figure is up from 33% last year and 30% in 2021.
Wyoming Not Surprised
Rep. Barry Crago, R-Buffalo, told Cowboy State Daily he's not surprised with the results considering some of the issues progressives have embraced, mentioning both transgender-related topics and abortion.
"The left is pushing this agenda that is very liberal, and there's no common sense to it," Crago said.
"Conservatives are the ones who say that boys can't play against girls in sports," Crago said. "I would have never envisioned we could have a problem with boys wanting to play in girls sports."
Rep. Jon Conrad, R-Mountain View, agreed saying that the populace's tilt to the right corresponds with the tilt in policy priority of the left.
"The increase in percentage can be traced to the ongoing shift in our politics that has become entrenched in debates over expansion of government, abortion, environmental constrictions, education in our schools (parental rights, transgender topics, critical race theory, etc), abortion and the necessity for us to stop the digression of our fundamental values and beliefs," Conrad said in a text message.
"If not now, when? If not us, who? The time is now to become engaged," he said.
Movement To The Right
The number of people who say they are liberal or very liberal on social issues is going down, according to the poll. The figure dipped from 34% the past two years to 29% now.
According to Gallup, the last time this many Americans said they were socially conservative was in 2012.
Gallup senior editor, Jeffrey M. Jones, wrote that for the past few years it was basically a toss up on whether Americans would say they were liberal or conservative on social issues, but this year, “there is a more obvious conservative advantage.”
He believes the reason for the increase is mostly because more Republicans are declaring their move to the socially conservative camp, “at a time when social issues such as transgender rights, abortion and other hot-button concerns are prominent in the national public debate.”
Former Wyoming state GOP chairman Matt Micheli said it's the social issues which are doing it, especially those involving children.
“As the far left continues to indoctrinate our children and move further and further to the extreme against protecting human life, Americans are waking up to the damage caused by these radical policies," Micheli said. "Of course more Americans identify as conservatives.”
The poll indicates 74% of Republicans consider themselves conservative or very conservative on social issues. That’s up from 68% this past year and 60% in 2021.
Independents went up 5% from last year to 29% now. The figure was 24% who said they were conservative in 2021.
About 10% of Democrats said they are conservative or very conservative. That percentage has not changed much from the past two years.
People ages 30-49 years old had the highest recent percentage jump of those who said they were conservative on social issues. In 2021, 22% said they were in the socially conservative camp. This year that number is 35%.
The number of those 50-64 years old who now say they are socially conservative also went up. In 2021 about 35% of the folks in this age range said they were conservative on social issues, but this year it’s closer to 46%. This is the age group with the most who say they are conservative.
Those in the 18-29 year old age range changed from 24% saying they were conservative on social issues in 2021 to now 30%. At the other end of the scale, those who are 65 years old or more, the percentage actually went down 1% from 2021. Now 42% say they are conservative on social issues, according to Gallup.
Economically Conservative Is The Norm
Jones wrote that when it comes to economics, more people are identifying as conservative in this area too, but “Americans have consistently been more likely to say they are conservative on economic issues rather than liberal.”
About 44% of Americans identify as conservative or very conservative on economic issues now. About 33% say they are moderate and 21% say they are liberal. These percentages have not changed much over the last few years.
In general, according to the poll, when asked about their overall political views, not in regard to a specific issue area, about 40 percent of Americans said they have conservative views, 31% said moderate and 26% said liberal.
Gallup’s Annual Values and Beliefs Survey was conducted by phone May 1- 24 with a random sample of more than 1,000 American adults. Gallup said its sampling error of plus or minus 4% gives it a 95% confidence level.
Coy Knobel can be reached at: Coy@CowboyStateDaily.com