5 posts tagged vote
The Republican Party focuses on mobilizing its conservative base to win elections. The Democratic Party focuses on mobilizing its liberal base. But the bulk of votes are in the middle. Presidential elections have featured more moderate voters than either liberals or conservatives in every year since exit polls began asking the question. In the battle for the White House, moderates dominate.
View more graphics like this in our Politics of the Center 2012 Graphic Series.
Infographic: Why Moderates Matter - Ideology of Voters in Recent Presidential Elections
This infographic illustrates “Why Moderates Matter.” It comes from our recent memo, “What it Takes to Win” available at www.thirdway.org/publications/428
Democrats and Republicans have the same goal in elections—winning at least 50%-plus one of the overall vote. But what it takes to reach that threshold is very different for each party. To be sure, both Democrats and Republicans need to excite and motivate their respective wings. But the real challenge for each party is winning enough of the middle—those self-identified, ideological moderates who put candidates over the top.
We analyzed three decades of exit polls to show why Democrats need to look for ways to keep moderates at the altar and woo this less vocal—but far more substantial—block of voters. This electoral reality should motivate Democrats to embrace moderates as a part of their coalition and support moderate policies in the major debates in Washington.
To demonstrate the impact of the economy on past elections, we looked at the answer to the poll question “How Well Are Things Going in the Country?,” all the way back to 1974. The results are striking. And not encouraging for Democrats right now.
READ: Growth, Not Greece: A Growth-Focused Deficit Reduction Agenda - The federal deficit has become a Rorschach test for ideology. Both progressives and conservatives have defined the root causes of the deficit in ways that comport to their well-worn positions. But ideology won’t solve the problem. Instead, it will require practical policies that can give the nation the vibrant economic growth, middle class living standards, and secure safety net for the aged and vulnerable that we have come to expect. www.thirdway.org/subjects/3/publications/333
William A. Galston of the Brookings Institution and Elaine C. Kamarck of Harvard University, argue that political polarization—the loss of moderates from the political and policy process—is the root cause of the current crises in governance and politics. Galston and Kamarck argue that few causes are more important to America’s future than the embrace of political process reforms that will diminish the hyper-partisanship now disfiguring our nation’s politics.