A report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center has segmented U.S. voters into nine political tribes – four that lean left, four that lean right, and the ‘stressed sideliners,’ who have a minimal interest in politics. 

Pew surveyed 10,221 adults this July, but has been conducting interviews with respondents since January 2020. 

While partisan polarization remained high, the research also showed that there are divisions within the Democrats and the Republicans – as members of the coalitions’ views vary on issues including racial justice, abortion, taxes and the future role of former President Donald Trump. 

Former President Donald Trump

President Joe Biden

Pew Research Center has found that Americans belong to nine distinct political tribes. The survey was conducted by Pew Research Center in July. Interviews began in January 2020. 

The Pew Research Center released a report Tuesday that put Americans into nine political groups - four that lean left, four that lean right, and the 'stressed sideliners,' who have a minimal interest in politics

The Pew Research Center released a report Tuesday that put Americans into nine political groups – four that lean left, four that lean right, and the ‘stressed sideliners,’ who have a minimal interest in politics

This Pew chart shows the percentages the groups make up overall (left) and then among the political right (center) and political left (right)

This Pew chart displays the proportions of these groups overall (left), then within the political right and left (right). 


Pew states that this group is “intensely conservative” in all spheres. These people make up 23% of Republicans and Independents who are Republican-leaning, which makes them the largest GOP-leaning group. Their majority is Christian and white. Their argument that government policies must support religious values is more common than in other groups. They are also less inclined to accept compromises in politics. Many believe that Trump will win the 2020 election and are convinced of the so-called “big lie.” Pew discovered that 79% of these people believe too much has been said about the Jan 6 Capitol attack.  


These people hold views similar to those of the “flag and faith conservatives”, but have a more rounded view, according to Pew. This group accounts for 15% of Republicans, and the independents that lean GOP. These people are pro-business and pro small government. They will be more open to a compromise on immigration than flag and faith conservatives, or the members of populist right. The majority of them believe that the U.S. should prioritise relationships with foreign allies. Although they voted for Trump in the election, this group prefers former Republican presidents such as Ronald Reagan.  

'Committed conservatives' are more likely  than other GOP groups to believe that the U.S. should look out for its foreign allies

‘Committed conservatives’ are more likely  than other GOP groups to believe that the U.S. should look out for its foreign allies 

The 'populist right' is more likely than other GOP groups to believe that the economic system in the U.S. is unfair

More than any other GOP group, the ‘populist Right’ believes that the U.S. economic system is unfair. 


This group is less educated and more likely to live in rural communities. The group is home to 23 percent of Republicans, and GOP-leaning unaffiliateds. The group is critical of U.S. corporate policies and immigration. Only one Republican group believes that the U.S. economic system unfairly favors powerful interests. Their belief is the same as that of Democratic President Joe Biden, and they believe that Americans who earn more than $400,000. should see their taxes increase. Pew pollsters surveyed 81 percent of the group and found they want Trump to be a well-known political figure. 


They are among the youngest group of conservative-leaning voter. This group holds traditional conservative beliefs on topics such as small government, economics, race and gender. They are more inclined to be in favor of legalizing marijuana, as well as supporting same-sex marriage and abortion rights. While a majority voted for Trump in the last election, 63 per cent say they don’t want to see him continue to be a major political figure in the Republican Party.  One quarter identify themselves as Democrats, or Democratic leaners. However, it accounts for 18% of Republicans and GOP independents. 

Faith and flag conservatives as well as members of the populist right tend to be immigration hardliners, the Pew research showed

Pew Research revealed that immigrants hardliners include flag and faith conservatives, as well as populist right members. 

Those who are part of the 'ambivalent right' are more likely than other GOP groups to support abortion access and marijuana legalization

Members of the “ambivalent right” are more inclined than others to support legalization and access for abortions. 


The only major white Democratic group is the ‘progressive Left’. These people make up 12 percent of Democrats and independents who are Democratic. They hold liberal opinions on virtually every topic. Because they are open to radical changes in order to combat racial inequality, their views differ from those Pew refers as “establishment libertarians”. They are for a massive expansion of the social welfare net. They are among the most political-engaged of all the Democratic groups.  


The ‘Establishment libertarians’ are very liberal, but more resistant to radical changes, preferring incrementalism and compromise. The majority of voters believe that the party must include those who hold GOP views on certain issues. Pew reported that 23 percent of Democrats are influenced by them, as well as Democratic-leaning unaffiliated voters. 


These are the most senior, average-aged group of Democrats. They are loyal to the party and more moderate on certain issues. This group is less likely than any other Democratic group to have college education. These people make up 28 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents. They might identify as being politically moderate. However, most of their opinions are liberal. They may see illegal immigration as more of a problem than the Democratic-leaning organizations. They tend to be pro-military. This group includes forty percent of black Democrats.  

The views on the size and role of government tend to be divided along party lines

Partition lines tend to divide opinions on government’s size and purpose. 

There's a big split, as well, between the parties when it comes to discrimination against black people and white people

The parties are also at a stalemate when it comes discrimination against people of color and people of colour 


They are among the youngest groups of Democratic voters. These people make up 16 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents. While they supported President Joe Biden during the last election, they have a deep dissatisfaction with the system and the Democratic Party. Liberals, particularly on issues such as race, climate change, and immigration, they are. Many of them consider themselves political indepents. Although they don’t always vote, they will still choose a Democrat candidate over a Republican. 


This segment makes up just 5% of American voters, and 15% of American citizens. These people hold both liberal and conservative views. These people tend to be more conservative economically than they are socially. They tend to be more economically stressed. They also share a disinterested in politics. This group only voted for Biden in 2020, while 45 percent voted.