ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    A generation of GOP gains reached its peak in 2003, when Republicans precisely matched Democrats in partisan allegiance, culminating a trend that started after the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. But that's reversed itself since, as dissatisfaction with the Iraq war and the presidency of George W. Bush eroded the Republican Party's ranks. Most recently, the number of self-described independents advanced in 2009.
    ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    Ideological trends have been more stable than partisan affiliation, albeit with a slight increase in self-identified conservatives (in 2009, 3 points above their 10-year average) and a slight decline in moderates (ending the period 3 points below their average since 2000).
    ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    The share of Democrats identifying themselves as liberals advanced from 32 percent at the start of the decade to 39 percent this year, while the share calling themselves moderates lost an identical 7 points.
    ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    While Democrats became more liberal, Republicans moved in the opposite direction: the share of conservatives in their ranks rose from a low of 50 percent on average in 2001 and 2002 to a high of 63 percent in 2008.
    ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    The share of conservatives among self-identified independents increased in 2009, along with a rise in the ranks of independents overall.
    ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    President George W. Bush's job approval rating soared after 9/11 to the highest on record in ABC/Post and Gallup polls dating to 1938, and spiked again after the start of the Iraq war. But Bush tanked as views of the war soured; he spent a record four years without majority approval and came within a single point of the lowest rating on record, set by Harry S. Truman in 1952. President Barack Obama's support started far higher but has declined amid continued economic discontent.
    ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    On the edge of the economic abyss, views that the country was "seriously off on the wrong track" soared to 90 percent in October 2008, a record in polls since 1973. It's moderated since, with strong partisanship behind it.
    ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    In fall 2002 the Republican Party held a 12-point advantage over the Democrats in trust to handle the nation's main problems. By the end of 2008 that had reversed to a 56-23 percent Democratic lead, the largest advantage for either party in polls since 1982. It's eased to a 47-31 percent Democratic advantage more recently.
    ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    Public attitudes on abortion remained stable in most ABC/Post polls across the '00s; 55 percent on average said abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
    ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    After years of general stability, an ABC/Post poll last spring found a sharp rise in support for gay marriage, to roughly an even split.
    ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    Overall support for stricter gun control laws narrowed late in the decade, from a peak of 67-30 percent in 2000 to essentially an even division, 51-48 percent, last spring.
    ABC News
  • Trends this Decade

    Consumer confidence soared with the dotcom bubble at the start of the decade, then tanked with the global financial crisis at its end. The ABC News Consumer Comfort Index, conducted weekly since late 1985, hit a record high +38 on its scale of +100 to -100 on Jan. 16, 2000, and a record low of -54 on Jan. 25, 2009.
    ABC News
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