Friday, August 18, 2006

Connecticut problems and potential lessons

Interesting poll here suggests that Lieberman has been able to squeeze the Republican vote and combine this with a portion of the Democratic vote to carve out a 12% lead. Just as I predicted. The pollster describes this as 'astounding'. He should look to Australia where it is quite common for independents to squeeze the vote of one major party. Tactical voting is however unknown to a two-party system. Lieberman needs to be tied to Republican policies in the eyes of voters. His campaign to market himself as a 'moderate' may be infuriating given how the Republicans have tacked away from the path of moderation towards relentless partisanship, but progressives need to respond to this rather than allow the right to set the agenda. They should heed the words of William Galston:
it is hardly reassuring to learn that according to a 2005 Pew Research Center survey, only 29 percent of Americans regard the Democratic Party as friendly to religion, down from 40 percent a year earlier. Nor is it comforting that Al Gore lost the married vote by 9 points and John Kerry by 15. (Bill Clinton just about broke even among these voters in both 1992 and 1996.) And it is astounding to learn that Republicans are winning majorities among voters who are moderates on abortion...Because there are at least 50 percent more conservatives than liberals, Democrats can win national elections only if they gain supermajorities of voters who are neither liberal nor conservative. John Kerry's 54 percent of the moderate vote was good, but not good enough. And while moderates are a bit more like liberals than conservatives, their outlook and policy preferences are not identical to those of our liberal base, which gave 85 percent of its vote to Kerry. There is no - repeat - no-possibility that a politics of liberal purity that fully satisfies the base can garner a national majority anytime soon.


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