by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Kristen Soltis Anderson uses a Washington Examiner column to rebut a common myth about middle-of-the-road voters.
There is no such thing as a “radical moderate” in American politics.
As the extremes of the parties pull away from one another, a large swath of the American electorate sits frustrated and unserved. However, those voters in the “exhausted majority” do not necessarily represent the sort of cosmopolitan centrism usually touted by political elites. According to new research out this week, there are many core issues where moderates break with the progressive movement in America. If the Democratic Party runs in 2020 on a campaign that ignores the sometimes more conservative values of the political middle — such as religious faith or a belief in hard work to overcome obstacles — data suggests they will seriously limit their ability to make inroads with the political middle.
In an extensive and rigorous look at tribalism in American politics out this week, researchers with More in Common have put together a study that highlights the areas of greatest political division, and illuminates just what core questions most profoundly separate out the extremes from the political center. …
… [T]he authors of the report make an unfortunate decision to lump both devoted and “traditional” conservatives (at 6 and 19 percent of the population respectively) under the category of a conservative “wing,” while considering all but the very furthest Left slice of liberal America to be part of a broad, underserved majority seeking compromise. In fact, there are a host of areas in the study that highlight just the opposite, illuminating where middle in fact aligns with the conservative “wing” much more closely, and where it is liberals who hold views quite divergent from the rest of the American public.