Left Behind: How Democrats Are Losing the Political Center

jackalope

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Jan 2010
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[h=1]Left Behind: How Democrats Are Losing the Political Center[/h]
(snip ... )


In August of this year, Pew posed a very similar question (note to survey wonks: Pew used a five-point scale, versus six in 2005), but the results were very different. Although average voters continue to see themselves as just right of center, they now place themselves twice as far away from the Democratic Party as from the Republicans. In addition, Independents now see themselves as significantly closer to the Republican Party, reversing their perceptions of six years ago.

There’s another difference as well. In 2005, Republicans’ and Democrats’ views of their own parties dovetailed with the perceptions of the electorate as a whole. Today, while voters as a whole agree with Republicans’ evaluation of their party as conservative, they disagree with Democrats, who on average see their party as moderate rather than liberal. So when Independents, who see themselves as modestly right of center, say that Democrats are too liberal, average Democrats can’t imagine what they’re talking about.

more: Left Behind: How Democrats Are Losing The Political Center | The New Republic

But what this article is failing to talk about at all, is the changing 'face' of those who call themselves Republicans and those who call themselves Independents. MANY 'Republicans' who proudly wore that label in 2005 now call themselves 'Independents'.

The 'average voter' has not changed at all, the article notes. Why doesn't this author talk about the fact that jumps out from between the lines. Perhaps nothing at all has changed but the label 2005 Republicans now wear?
 
Sep 2011
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I hope nobody minds if I resurrect an old thread.

I agree with you, Jackalope, but I don't think the shift from republican to independent is necessarily a choice. And I think Gaston is neglecting the changes in the parties as organizations. While more people might very well identify themselves as right-of-center, that is not the same as identifying as a republican. The Republican Party has been moving as well over the years.

I remember having a class discussion about the Tea Party a couple of years ago; it was my hope that the more moderate republicans would end up as the dominate group and the Tea Party would act more as a source of balance and keep the party from going too liberal. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The whole party has shifted farther to the right, and the moderates and centrists have either been forced out or left due to no longer feeling represented (I tend to put myself in this group).
 
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jackalope

Former Staff
Jan 2010
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I hope nobody minds if I resurrect an old thread.

I agree with you, Jackalope, but I don't think the shift from republican to independent is necessarily a choice. And I think Gaston is neglecting the changes in the parties as organizations. While more people might very well identify themselves as right-of-center, that is not the same as identifying as a republican. The Republican Party has been moving as well over the years.

I remember having a class discussion about the Tea Party a couple of years ago; it was my hope that the more moderate republicans would end up as the dominate group and the Tea Party would act more as a source of balance and keep the party from going too liberal. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The whole party has shifted farther to the right, and the moderates and centrists have either been forced out or left due to no longer feeling represented (I tend to put myself in this group).

On the bolded, not at all, Tarheeler!

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
 

Jets

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Feb 2011
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From your article Jack: :)

Tellingly, a number of at-risk Democratic senators up for reelection in 2012 have already refused to go along with key elements of the president’s recent proposals.

Another Gallup finding that should alert Democrats is the ongoing collapse of public confidence in government. A survey released earlier this week found that Americans now believe that the federal government wastes 51 cents of every dollar it spends, the highest estimate ever recorded.

These two quotes explain part of the problem. After the 2008 election the conservative/blue dog wing of the democratic party would have been more likely to compromise with the President regarding certain spending bills. Now, that group has bigger issues to worry about.
 

Chief

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Nov 2009
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I'm all good with the GOP and the Dems both winning some, as long as they work together. I think one of the reason people are starting to disassociate themselves with the mainstream political parties is that people in general are not as radical as our parties are getting.