Labeling Political PartiesStamford, Conn., 01/07/2004
Just in time for the political mudslinging that traditionally
accompanies presidential elections, a national survey uncovers some
surprising facts about the way voters “label” their own politics – as
well as the views of their political rivals.
The new study, commissioned by DYMO – the leading producer of
labelmakers for the home and office – polled Democrats, Independents and
Republicans across the country and examined the many labels associated
with political affiliation.
The People Behind The Labels
Three-quarters of Americans reveal that they are a member of a
traditional political party – registered as either Democrats or
Republicans. Surprisingly, upwards of twenty-five percent of registered
voters label themselves as Independent.
Independent voters are almost evenly divided along gender lines, but the
traditional parties aren’t nearly as uniform – while Republicans are
more likely to be male, 2 in 3 Democrats are women. In terms of age,
Republicans average three to four years older than their Democratic and
Independent counterparts (50, as opposed to 47 and 46, respectively).
Labels We Love
Democrats overwhelmingly see themselves as “idealistic” and “patriotic”
– nearly 80 percent choose these descriptors to define their point of
view. In describing their political nemesis, 2 in 5 Democrats are quick
to label Republicans as “pro-military.” Their view of Independents?
While 40 percent of Democrats feel that Independents are
“unpredictable,” many apparently don’t know what to make of the party –
39 percent claim not to have any opinion of Independent voters.
More than half of Republicans feel the label that best describes their
party is “patriotic.” Nearly one-third of Republican voters view their
Democratic rivals as “idealistic,” while a significant minority (16
percent) also view their liberal counterparts as “pacifists.” While
nearly half of Republicans see Independent voters “unpredictable,” 31
percent just don’t have an opinion of the group.
The majority of Independents – 40 percent – don’t think about labels,
though a full third of the party is quick to label itself as
“unpredictable.” Not surprisingly, 2 in 5 Independent voters don’t have
an opinion of either traditional political party. Among those that do,
Democrats are most commonly seen as “idealistic,” and Republicans are
Labels We Love To Hate
‘Traditional’ party labels (including “right wing” and “liberal”) can be
a point of contention for all political parties. Republicans dislike the
“neocon” and “right wing” monikers, while Democrats are sensitive to
being called “left wing.” For their part, Independent voters feel the
“undecided” and “wishy washy” labels associated with their party are
Labeling Politics By Geography
Surprisingly, the deep South isn’t the Republican stronghold many assume
– Democrats are more likely to be found in the Southeast than their
Republican counterparts. For their part, Republicans have a
significantly higher likelihood of living in the Southwest than their
Democratic rivals. And Independent voters? They are most likely to call
the Northwest home.
About DYMO Corporation
DYMO Corporation has more than 40 years experience as a leading
manufacturer of labeling and identification tools. DYMO produces a broad
range of innovative identification products for home, office and
commercial use that help people organize their world. The company is a
division of Esselte, a $1.2B office products company. More information
on DYMO is available at www.dymo.com.