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View Diary: Polls and The Election – A Revisit (93 comments)

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  •  It depends on where you look (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, MadEye, climateguy84, raf

    The best case for describing the U.S. as "center-right" comes right in the link to Pew in the above diary: 38% describe themselves as conservative, 36% describe themselves as moderates, and only 21% describe themselves as liberal.  Taken at face value -- and there is good reason not do so, as DemInCT notes, including that many people have very little idea what the labels actually mean -- that certainly looks like a "center-right" populace.  Combine that with the notion that institutional pressures -- lobbyists, the need for fundraising -- tend to push policy in a rightward direction, you can see the basis for the label.

    Luckily, the question of how to label the country is nonsensical.  Conservatives suggest that if we are a center-right country, the only proper representation
    will come from the center-right.  That "represent the ideology, don't pay attention to who they votes for" is not the tune they sang back when Reagan was elected.

    People know less about what they want than about what they don't want; to me, that's always been the point of the literature on "retrospective voting": the notion that people look backwards rather than forwards in determining a vote.  This election leaves open a range of acceptable policies from left to center-right; we don't know exactly where on that segment of the political spectrum (to oversimplify) voters will fall, and neither do they.  What we can say is that voters have rejected -- definitely in terms of their personnel decision and probably in terms of ideology as well -- the "hard" right, which is from where we've been goverened for most of the past 30 years.

    I don't know if the U.S. "is" center-right, center-left, or whatever.  It seems to be a fairly nonsensical question.  But I know what we are not anymore, and that is: we are not a conservative nation.  Hopefully that change happened in time.  

    The netroots is what the Letters to the Editor page wanted to be when it grew up.

    by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 11:16:51 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  very nice analysis n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MadEye, Seneca Doane

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 11:34:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If your snowy day is boring enough (0+ / 0-)

        let me know and I'll send you the papers I published on this theme back when my field was public opinion.  (I will not be offended if you decline the offer!)

        The netroots is what the Letters to the Editor page wanted to be when it grew up.

        by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 11:50:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  send them!! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane

          demfromct@earthlink.net

          We like having data support our opinions.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 12:11:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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