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Wed Feb 19, 2020, 02:11 AM

 

"The Moderate Middle Is A Myth"

I've posted this here, but the following article deserves its own thread: "The Moderate Middle Is A Myth"

As the above link makes clear, self-identified "moderates," "independents" and "undecideds" are all over the map ideologically-speaking. And studies show that virtually all of today's so-called "independents" are very partisan but claim they hate partisanship. In fact, they're more likely to always be straight-ticket voters than the average party-affiliated voter of past decades. True swing voters are not that great in number, and it's a myth that they constitute some mass of ideologically-similar middle-of-the-roaders who will vote for whichever candidate is closer to the center. A lot of people and members of the media have become invested in that narrative and will undoubtedly dispute these findings (mostly with anecdotes and 'gut feelings' and tweets), but it just ain't the case. Anyway, here's a couple of key excerpts from the 538 piece linked above:

The upshot of all this is that if you’re a campaign trying to appeal to independents, moderates or undecided voters — or a concerned citizen trying to make sense of these groups in the context of an election — policy and ideology aren’t good frames of reference. There just isn’t much in terms of policy or ideology that unites these groups.11

Anybody who claims to have the winning formula for winning moderate, independent or undecided voters is making things up. Perhaps more centrist policies will appeal to some voters in each of these categories — but so will more extreme policies.12

And come election day, these potential swing voters may not ultimately care all that much about policy. They don’t tend to identify themselves based on ideology, and they don’t follow politics all that closely.


First, this is a really small group — only 2.4 percent of the electorate falls in all three buckets. And even this super small middle of the middle is … you guessed it … all over the ideological map. Rare as these voters are, anybody who talks about winning over undecided, independent, moderate voters should first address the question: which undecided, independent, moderate voters?
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 04:53 AM

1. No, it isn't

 

Moderate mass in the middle represents the gravitational pull that returns the political pendulum when it swings too far to the left or the right. Like the pendulum on a clock, it wants to find a center but always swings beyond with help from one side or the other.

Looking at the past, we saw the swing right with Reagan. The pendulum came back and put the Clintons in the WH. While that wasn't such a mad swing, the middle mass once again pulled it back to the center but continued momentum to the Bush era, a considerably farther swing. With the political pendulum so far to the right it swung back hard to the left and put a black (relatively) liberal in office.

I don't think I have to go into what happened next, but when it comes back this fall it could be with such force that it allows for a far left contender. After that, the clock will just chime thirteen and fall of the wall.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 05:06 AM

3. Beautifully argued abstractions that aren't supported by data are like a Kardashian

 

Beautiful and easy to find on TV, but also quite useless.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 06:19 AM

8. Sorry, but the data doesn't support that notion.

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 05:04 AM

2. Read this article from Slate

 

https://www.salon.com/2018/03/27/pikettys-new-paper-vindicates-bernie-sanders-electoral-strategy/

A well researched book by a political economist is arguing (using a lot of (OMG!) data and historical context) that working class whites are voting against establishment Dems because they're too neoliberal, too uninterested in rejecting Wall Street money to fight for working families. That's what's weakening our electoral game among the "Obama-Trump voters"--probably the most important swing voter base. They don't care about left-right ideology; they care about who's fighting for them.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Bucky (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 06:21 AM

9. Thus his positive favorability rating in spite of all the socialism scare tactics.

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 05:16 AM

4. repukes win by dirty tricks and focusing on their base. We as a party need to do the same

 

we need to quit chasing voters that will never vote for us no matter what we say or do plus we need to play dirty, obstruct the fascist process whenever, wherever we can.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to yaesu (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 06:26 AM

10. We need to focus on boosting turnout of POC, youth and those disenchanted with the status quo.

 

Here's another excerpt from the article featured in the OP:

As the political scientists Donald Kinder and Nathan Kalmoe put it, after looking at five decades of public opinion research, “the moderate category seems less an ideological destination than a refuge for the innocent and the confused.”8 Similarly, political scientist David Broockman has also written about the meaninglessness of the “moderate” label, particularly as a predictor of centrism.

The takeaway is simple: As they must with independents, any pundit who talks about “moderates” as a key voting bloc begs that second follow-up question: Which moderates?9


Selecting a candidate or running a campaign based on appealing to a mythical mass of ideologically-similar, astute moderates is foolish. Focus on boosting turnout and combating voter suppression efforts. We have the numbers to win, but we need to recognize that the driving force in the US today is an opposition to the status quo.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 05:22 AM

5. I didn't realize I need to thank Rachel Bitecofer for some of my 2018 wagers

 

I'll continue to laugh at Rachel Bitecofer and anyone who posts her stuff. She predicted the out party would win big in a first term midterm. Wow, that is incredible. How did she do that? This segment of a linked article from the OP was particularly revealing:

"Bitecofer hasn’t exactly been clairvoyant: Her original Senate prediction was off in 2018. She didn’t anticipate the surge in GOP turnout that would match the surge in Democratic turnout in places where the demographics still favored Republicans. She thought Democrats would win Florida, and maybe even Texas, and that the Georgia governor’s race was winnable. What she didn’t count on at the time was that negative partisanship can work both ways, even when there is one party in power,..."

I want to thank Rachel Bitcofer and others for somehow believing the senate was in play in 2018. That was my second largest wager of that cycle. My largest wager was on Ted Cruz. I notice that race was on Bitecofer's stupidity list also. Yes, a Democrat had a huge opportunity in a state with 43% self-identified conservatives. The turnout will just swamp all the foundational realities, won't it Rachel?

I also wagered against Abrams in Georgia. This Bitecofer lady may have helped my pricing all over the place, even if I didn't realize it at the time. She was on every sucker race. No wonder those numbers were such bargains. The Dunces of Turnout at work.

As I emphasized in 2018 one of the reasons the senate was almost no chance is that Tennessee is the new Alaska in terms of incompetent polling. The polls placing Bredesen close in that race were ridiculous and did not represent the true nature of that state at all in federal races. Recent Tennessee polls have underestimated GOP margins by 10% or more.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 05:38 AM

6. The moderate swing middle was on display in Wisconsin 2016

 

Bernie Sanders supporters conveniently like to ignore the difference between that Wisconsin senate outcome and presidential outcome. Moderate Hillary didn't seriously contest the state and lost to Trump by roughly .8%. The favorite son and considerably more liberal Russ Feingold lost to the joke Ron Johnson by 3.4%.

Same day. Same electorate. A net gap of 2.6%. Trump didn't come close to 50% against a moderate but Johnson managed 50.2% against Feingold. It is not impossible to overcome .8% with superior messaging. A 3.4% deficit is another matter entirely.

That example alone devastates the notion that swing voters don't exist and that ideological variance does not matter, or that small numbers do not matter. It is exactly the type of thing many of us are concerned about with Bernie Sanders. Wisconsin is a swing state because it mirrors the nation with 9% more self-identified conservatives than liberals. If you force a self-proclaimed socialist in states like that you not only weaken your percentage among moderates but you severely uptick the fear factor in leaners from the other side who don't always vote.

The danger in Bernie is not that we lose like 1972 or 1988. The danger is that we turn a rightful 2% victory into a 1% defeat in vital states like Wisconsin.

Put charming Amy out there and I know how those moderates will vote. Trump and surrogates can scream socialist all they want.

Per my other post in this thread, I still can't get over the notion that Rachel Bitecofer thought we had a chance in the senate -- given that 2018 map -- or that Beto was going to win Texas.

Go get 'em, Rachel.

The power of self-promotion indeed. She reminds me of the loudmouths at horse tracks who give out one winner and suddenly have loads of desperate followers at their feet.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Awsi Dooger (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 06:17 AM

7. The article and excerpts featured in the OP are from 538.

 

As for Bitecofer, she didn't say swing voters don't exist. Your red herring won't hunt.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 09:07 AM

11. Yet, here we are. Living proof of the subjective term, "moderate."

 

Subjective to the point where left-center and right-center are labeled, "extremist," or "enabler," or, even, "traitor."

I agree with the article. These terms are artificial constructs and can be hurled at anyone opposing the current newspeak and the mindless swarms of yellow jackets.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 09:46 AM

12. The Republican party became increasingly successful as it moved ideologically away from the center

 

What you are now seeing is our party doing the same.

It's not comfortable for many of us.

DU represents a subset of politically engaged center-lefties to far-lefties. We all despise Trump. When you get out to those who see politics in different terms, while they may dislike Trump, they will vote their pocketbooks. Bloomberg is a centrist but appeals to that dogged group that equate intelligence with wealth - if he's rich, it means he must be smart. Sanders appeals to a group (Millenials in particular, but also labor Dems) who support the ideals of the Democratic Party, but didn't view the Clintons or even necessarily Barack Obama as someone who solved their problems.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 01:11 PM

13. K&R nt

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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