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August 09, 2006

"Moderates"

The boss at Rightalk (is he really a boss if he doesn't pay me? Not sure on that one) sends this observation:

I've been reading all the reports this morning and the one salient point that is not being pointed out by the MSM and the blogosphere is the impact of the "new democrat sign ups" in Connecticut.

Leiberman lost by 10k votes. Yet prior to the primary over 14k "new' (aka college age KOS kids) voters registered to vote as dems and over 14k "unaffiliated" (aka Greens, socialists, disaffected hippies) switched to the dem party. Their only purpose was to slam Leiberman.

It was these swing voters that swung the primary victory to Lamont.


The American Green Party

Almost as moderate as COBRA from the GI Joe cartoon.


This is a big experiment. The Republicans learned, from Reagan, then in 1994, then in 2004, that playing to the base is a sound electoral strategy. You bring out a lot of voters who usually don't vote for you because they think you're too establishment and sell-out, and you don't alienate as many "moderates" (in the old sense of the word, pre-NYT redefinition) as you'd think.

After all, the moderates have only four choices: You, them, some other guys, or sitting it out. Only one of those choices actually hurts you.

Even when you play to the base, you still seem to get those moderates who might be a little bothered by the party's "extremism" but they still believe in enough of the program to pull the lever for you.

The liberals are trying this now. They scored a modest (and as of yet incomplete) success in Connecticut. I wonder if it will actually play for them as well-- can they tack hard to the left and get more of the left's votes while retaining most of their moderate, loosely-affiliated Dem-leaning voters?

The big question is whether pure liberalism is as much of a turn-off as we assume it to be. On one hand, self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals by at least 3:2 and almost 2:1 (something like 33-20); but, on the other hand, how many liberals actually call themselves "liberal"?

It's only the total moonbat goofballs who admit they're liberals.

You always get that "I don't believe in labels" horsehit. Which means a lot of non-labels-believing liberals just call themselves moderates when asked.

So, the NYT might have a minor point: a lot of self-defined moderates (i.e., fringe lefties) did in fact vault Lamont to a narrow win.

The question remains how many moderates are actually moderate, how many moderates are really liberals who don't want to admit it, and how many of those will be alienated when they get a taste of genuine, revanchist 1968'er liberalism?

I don't know. I hope the answer is that the Democrats are driving off the edge of a cliff, but I can't rule out the West Wing thesis, that what the public actually craves is a return of Summer of Woodstock straight-up-no-chaser left-liberalism.



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posted by Ace at 03:59 PM

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