May 4, 2011; Source: Pew Research Center for the People and the Press | Are you so disgusted with the political process in general that you can’t even answer when someone asks you your political affiliation?

Now the Pew Charitable Trusts, via its Pew Research Center, has come up with a handy-dandy tool to help you remember what to declare yourself as when next you enter a polling place. Pew divides the population into eight groups (shown here with their percentage of the general public according to Pew):

Mostly Republican

  • Staunch Conservatives: Highly engaged Tea Party supporters. 9%
  • Main Street Republicans: Conservative on most issues. 11%

Mostly Independent

  • Libertarians: Free-market, small-government seculars. 9%
  • Disaffecteds: Downscale and cynical. 11%
  • Post-Moderns: Independent, but liberal on social issues. 13%

Mostly Democrat

  • New Coalition Democrats: Upbeat, majority-minority. 10%
  • Hard-Pressed Democrats: Religious, financially struggling. 11%
  • Solid Liberals: Across-the-board liberal positions. 14%


  • Bystanders: Young, politically disengaged. 10%

If you are looking for that elusive common ground, that’s there too: “There are few points on which all the typology groups can agree, but cynicism about politicians is one,” Pew says. “Majorities across all eight groups, as well as Bystanders, say elected officials lose touch with the people pretty quickly.” Sigh.

Personally, I hope that campaign reform is one outcome of the OWS efforts.Ruth McCambridge