Americans Get More Liberal With Age

Long-term study shows elders trending left
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Mar 10, 2008 1:00 PM CDT
WWII veteran Oscar Villarreal listens as Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., speaks during a campaign stop at Old City Hall in Laredo, Texas, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The older a person gets, the more conservative he or she is likely to be, right? Wrong, say scientists who studied more than 46,000 people who responded to a US government survey from 1972 to 2004. In fact, a lead researcher tells LiveScience, "More people are changing in a liberal direction than in a conservative direction."

The change was especially pronounced on issues regarding race and civil liberties, perhaps because the seniors started out more conservative than younger subjects. "The older group, starting out at a position of significantly more negative feelings, had further to go," said the researcher. He also uses John McCain as an example, saying, "Maybe this is the campaign to knock down a bunch of stereotypes."