America more liberal than 50 years ago—but change not reflected in its politics

Americans’ attitudes and behaviors have become more liberal overall in the past 50 years and have taken a decidedly liberal tilt since the 1990s, shows a new analysis of public opinion data. Americans are substantially more liberal on matters of gender, sexuality, race, and personal liberty than they were in the 1970s. However, this trend may be masked by static views on a few hot-button issues—which also predict voter behavior—such as gun ownership, abortion, taxes, and law enforcement, all of which changed little over the last half century.

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