Just 20% said they consider it a positive description to call a candidate politically liberal while 39% would view that description negatively. However, 35% would consider it a positive description to call a candidate politically progressive. Just 18% react negatively to that term. Those figures reflect a huge swing, from a net negative of nineteen points to a net positive of 17 points.
On the other side of the ideological spectrum, being called politically conservative is considered a positive description by 32% and negative by 20%. It's much better for a candidate to be described as being like Ronald Reagan--44% consider that a positive description and 25% negative. That swing is meaningful, but not as dramatic as the difference between liberal and progressive. Being called conservative generates a net 12 point positive response that jumps to 19 points when someone is said to be like Reagan.
"Progressive" is even a bit more palatable among Republicans. Within this group, 7% say the term liberal is a positive description, but that number jumps to 26% for the term progressive.