2 posts tagged electorate
Independents vs. Moderates: What’s the Difference?
Independents and moderates are the two major groups that make up the center of the American electorate. But they are not synonymous.
For starters, “Independent” is a partisan identification (like Democrat or Republican), and “moderate” is an ideological label (like liberal or conservative). And while they track closely in income, education, religiosity, and a belief that everyone has the power to succeed, they diverge slightly on a few other demographic and attitudinal markers.
By better understanding the similarities and differences of moderate and Independent voters, politicians and pundits can gain a better picture of where these two groups overlap—and where they don’t.
For a deeper look at who, exactly, are “Obama Independents,” read our recent report: 2012 Showdown: The Battle for the Obama Independents.
This infographic appeared in the July 2012 Inside Politics Newsletter.
This graphic from our new report illustrates the most important element of the polarization story: For either party to win, they must appeal to their non-activist bases. But the Democrats must appeal to a non-activist base who are mostly moderate, while Republicans must cater to an increasingly conservative base.
For more information about the partisanship and the electorate, read our full report: “Family Feud: Democratic Activists v. Democratic Voters - The Ideological Gult that Thwarts a Sustained Majority.”