Ashton Marra Published

Political Ideology: It's Not as Simple as Red Versus Blue


Are you a liberal or a conservative? When it comes to politics, Americans can often feel like the answer is black or white, or maybe red or blue. 

But the Pew Research Center is trying to change that notion with a quiz that asks, “Where do you fit in the political typology spectrum?”

The quiz asks 23 questions about political values, everything from the social safety net to role of religion to the size of government, and then places respondents into one of eight categories on their political spectrum.

“What we’re looking for are question that really span the set of political values that are part of American politics today that aren’t specific policy issues,” Jocelyn Kiley, an associate director of research with the Pew Center, said of the quiz. 

“We’re not asking for your position on healthcare, for instance. We;re asking about underlying political values that are associated with those policy issues today.”

The eight typologies include the solid liberals and steadfast conservatives, but has a whole host of groups in between, including those Kiley says more young people fit into. 

The Next Generation Left, for example, is a younger group who tends to be socially liberal, but is more conservative when it comes to the social safety net. The group tends to lean toward Democrats when voting.

Similarly, the Young Outsiders tend to be more socially liberal than other right-leaning typologies, but has conservative views on the role of government. That group, Kiley said, tends to feel neither party is offering them exactly what they want.

Pew’s report, “Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology,” is an analysis of more than 10,000 quiz results. 

Interested in seeing where you fall? You can take their quiz and then compare what your typology means to the others Pew has identified.