June 26, 2014

The Pew Research Center’s Political Typology looks beyond “Red vs. Blue” in American politics, sorting voters into cohesive groups, based on their attitudes and values – not their partisan labels.

Use this tool to compare the groups on key topics: U.S. & Economy, Politics & Elections, Government & Economic Policy, Foreign Policy & Security, Domestic Policy and Religion & Society. You can also compare the groups by their demographics.

View the 2017 Political Typology

Hard-Pressed Skeptics

Deeply financially-stressed and distrustful of government, Hard-Pressed Skeptics lean toward the Democratic Party but have reservations about both political parties. They want government to do more to solve problems, but have doubts about its efficiency. Hard-Pressed Skeptics are dissatisfied with conditions in the country and their communities. They are among the most cynical about the ability of individuals to improve their lot through hard work. These attitudes may reflect their distressed financial conditions: Hard-Pressed Skeptics have the lowest family incomes of any of the typology groups.

  • Key Issues
  • Hard-Pressed Skeptics
  • General Public
U.S. should pay less attention to problems overseas and concentrate at home
Immigrants today are a burden on the country
Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough
Hard work and determination are no guarantee of success for most people
The country’s best years are behind us

Social Characteristics

  • Seven-in-ten (71%) Hard-Pressed Skeptics say the poor have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently.
  • Just 39% of Hard-Pressed Skeptics say they are interested in government and politics, the lowest percentage of any typology group.
  • About six-in-ten (61%) are white, non-Hispanic; 20% are black while 9% are Hispanic.
  • About half (51%) are 50 or older, which is somewhat higher than the share of older Americans in the public (44%).
  • Only about a third of Hard-Pressed Skeptics (32%) say they work-full-time.
Ideological Placement

Distribution of Hard-Pressed Skeptics and the overall public on a 10-item scale of political values. Learn more about the scale.

Hard-Pressed Skeptics make up of the population