Good information to help us understand voters.
11. Progressive Left
6% of public
Very liberal, highly educated and majority White; most say U.S. institutions need to be completely rebuilt because of racial bias
Although they are one of the smallest political typology groups, Progressive Left are the most politically engaged group in the Democratic coalition. No other group turned out to vote at a higher rate in the 2020 general election, and those who did nearly unanimously voted for Joe Biden. They donated money to campaigns in 2020 at a higher rate than any other Democratic-oriented group.
Nearly all Progressive Left (98%) either identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party: 46% say they strongly identify with the party. About a third (32%) are independents who lean toward the Democratic Party.
In the days leading up to the start of the 2020 Democratic primaries, 35% of Progressive Left Democratic voters supported Sen. Bernie Sanders, while nearly as many (28%) supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren; far fewer backed Biden (15%). They were more likely to support Warren than those in any other political typology group and expressed support for Sanders at a level similar to the Outsider Left (38% of whom favored Sanders).
8. Outsider Left
10% of public
Young, liberal, discontented Democrats
Nearly half of Outsider Left (48%) describe their own political views as liberal, including 20% who say their views are very liberal. But despite their liberal tilt, only about three-in-ten identify as Democrats; about half (53%) instead say they are independents who lean toward the Democratic Party.
Like Progressive Left, Outsider Left hold liberal views on most social issues, and particularly on issues of racial and ethnic equality and on immigration. Outsider Left are somewhat more skeptical of government’s role than other Democratic-oriented groups, though far less so than those in GOP-oriented groups.
Weaker attachment to the Democratic Party than other Democratic-leaning groups does not translate into positive attitudes toward Republicans among Outsider Left: Three-quarters say they feel very coldly toward Donald Trump, and just 13% say the Republican Party represents them very or somewhat well.
Outsider Left were – along with Progressive Left – the most likely to back Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic primaries. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) supported Sanders in January 2020, compared with 18% who supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren and just 12% who backed Joe Biden.
9. Democratic Mainstays
16% of public
Racially diverse, older, steadfast Democrats: Economically liberal, pro-military and moderate on immigration and social issues
Democratic Mainstays are slightly older and have less formal education than other Democratic-oriented groups. They are the group with the largest share of Black non-Hispanic adults (26%), and six-in-ten are women.
They are the only Democratic-oriented typology group in which a larger share say that the decline in the share of Americans belonging to an organized religion is bad for society than say this is good for society. Democratic Mainstays also are more religiously observant than other Democratic-oriented groups.
On many issues, Democratic Mainstays hold similar positions to other Democratic-oriented groups. About eight-in-ten (79%) prefer a bigger government providing more services over a smaller one providing fewer services. They overwhelmingly (85%) favor raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and nearly eight-in-ten (78%) say that a lot more needs to be done to ensure equal rights for all Americans regardless of their racial or ethnic backgrounds.
10. Establishment Liberals (“Moderates”)
13% of public
Liberal and racially and ethnically diverse, they stand out for their optimism and support for political compromise
While deeply liberal – roughly half describe themselves as either liberal (41%) or very liberal (12%) – Establishment Liberals are the typology group most likely to see value in political compromise and tend to be more inclined toward more measured approaches to societal change than their Progressive Left counterparts. Like other Democratic-oriented groups, most Establishment Liberals (73%) say a lot more needs to be done to ensure racial equality. Yet they are the only Democratic-aligned group in which a majority of those who say a lot more needs to be done also say this can be achieved by working within the current system.
Establishment Liberals are one of two typology groups in which nearly half (47%) have college degrees (a quarter have postgraduate degrees). About one-in-five (23%) live in upper-income households, a higher share than in any other Democratic-oriented typology group.
Establishment Liberals stand out for their current satisfaction with the direction of the country and optimism about the future. Roughly half (51%) say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country today, compared with 36% of Democratic Mainstays and even smaller shares in other typology groups.