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Voters Think Dems are "Center Right"

by Christopher Chantrill
January 03, 2009 at 12:50 am

YOU GOTTA give President-elect Obama credit. He managed to get the voters to think that the Democrats are a center-right party. That’s some achievement. And voters think that the Republican Party is a hard-right party. That’s according to a poll by Target Point Consulting discussed Wednesday by Stephen Moore.

[S]ays [pollster Alex] Lundry. "Democrats are seen as a center-right party, while Republicans are seen as dominated by the right."

I know what you are thinking. If only. Heck, if the Democrats truly were center-right we could give up on the limping, wounded GOP and join the parade. Liberals could desert the Democrats and create a Huffington-Kos Party, and the rest of us could live happily ever after.

Still, the key base of the Republican Party shrank in 2008. White males were for Bush by 24 points in 2004 and that gap closed to 16 points in 2008. You can see why. White males are instinctively center-right, and when Obama came through as the candidate most likely to give Americans a tax cut, well...

What about white women? McCain won them 53 to 46 percent, according to David Paul Kuhn in Politico, probably because of Sarah Palin.

Here are the spreads, updated from a variety of polls, using Jay Cost’s data from 1996-2004.

Republican Margin of Victory/Defeat:
Selected Demographic Groups
1996-2008
1996200020042008
White Men+9+24+25+16
White Women-5+1+11+7
African Americans-72-81-77-95
Hispanics-51-27-9-36
Overall-8.5-0.5+2.4-7

So what does it all mean? It means that, just as Karl Rove knew in 2000 and 2004, the future lies with the Hispanics.

And the future also lies with defining the Republican Party as center right, which is what it really is, and defining the Democratic Party as center left. Which is what it really is.

And one more thing. The Republican Party is the party of tax cuts. Really.

UPDATE: Pollster Alex Lundry emails to say he was misquoted. Voters think that the Dems are a center-LEFT party, after all. What a pity! I thought there was strategic opening here. So the only opportunity is to move the voters towards thinking that the GOP is really a mushy center-right party instead of the Democrats’ favorite image of a party dominated by racist, sexist rich-bitch homophobes.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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Francis Fukuyama, Trust


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill