Saturday, June 11, 2005

Political Advantages of Moderation

Some of the Democratic blogs have been claiming that the Democrats would have a better chance of winning by moving further to the left. The theory is that this would give people clearer reasons to vote for the Democrats. While there are limits to such polling, a Rasmussen poll says the opposite:

June 10, 2005--Election 2008 will be a toss-up if Democrats nominate a liberal candidate and Republicans nominate a conservative. A Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 40% of Americans say they would vote for a liberal Democrat and 39% for a Conservative Republican.

The survey also found that if both parties nominate a moderate candidate, the Democrats have a 42% to 38% advantage. Obviously, events over the next three years could change these figures in either direction, but the survey generally shows an electorate that remains evenly split between the two parties.

The survey documents the conventional wisdom concerning the political center. If Democrats nominate a moderate candidate and the GOP selects a conservative, the survey shows that Democrats would have a nine-point advantage. On the other hand, if Democrats nominate a liberal candidate and Republicans pick a moderate, the GOP gains an 8-point advantage.

Some might question this by arguing that in 2004 the Democrats did run a moderate liberal against an extremist conservative and lost by two points. That was clearly caused by a combination of the Republican's advantage in incumbency and their ability to falsely claim Kerry was on the far left with the number one most liberal voting record in the Senate (when actually his lifetime rating was number 11 among Democrats). George Bush initially ran claiming to be a compassionate conservative, knowing that it would have been a huge disadvantage running from the extremes. In this rare case, George Bush was wiser than many Democrats.


Blogger unlawflcombatnt said...

I think someone needs to define what "moving to the left" really means.

I think a more populist economic agenda would definitely be more popular with Democrats, and cause some Republicans & Independents to cross over. If adopting a more populist, or Demand-Side economic agenda is considered "moving to the left," then that's what the Democrats should do.

There was little publicity given to the support given to John Kerry by a group of 9 Nobel Prize winning economists in August 2004. One of the biggest names in this group was the 2001 Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz. Stiglitz states that Bush IS to blame for our stagnating economy, and that he should have done many things differently. The link to Stiglitz's article is:

If accepting Stiglitz's opinion and recommendations means moving to the left, then that's what Democrats should do. Most economists believe this move would INCREASE economic growth. In other words, such a "leftward" move would improve the economy. It would not be a "share-the-wealth" move, it would be an "increase-the-wealth" move.

We definitely should be the party of job creation and wage increase. We should also be the anti-free trade party. Many non-liberal groups oppose free trade, such as the John Birch society. Some historical conservatives, such as Paul Craig Roberts, also oppose unrestricted free trade. (Roberts was a Ronald Reagan appointee.) So I think calling such views "leftist" is a subjective matter. And we shouldn't alter, or modify policy because someone labels it "left-wing," "extreme left," etc. It's just a subjective label. Furthermore, when I post something that is labelled "liberal" or "left-wing" it tells me that the opponents don't have ANY other arguments against what I've written. It means they've had to resort to name-calling, because they have nothing left to throw at me. That's when you know you've beat them. Calling me a "leftist" equates to calling me "the winner."


11:45 AM  

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