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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
White Men+9+24+25+16
White Women-5+1+11+7
African Americans-72-81-77-95

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.


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


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008

Socialism equals Animism

Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values

Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.

Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

Physics, Religion, and Psychology

Paul Dirac: “When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion. However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.”
John Farrell, “The Creation Myth”


Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization

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©2007 Christopher Chantrill