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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.


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990

Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures

German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh

Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital

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©2007 Christopher Chantrill