Want to know why things happen the way they happen? Want to know why the president doesn't call you first? Gallup has a reason:
Americans' political ideology at the midyear point of 2011 looks similar to 2009 and 2010, with 41% self-identifying as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 21% as liberal.I don't say this as a good thing. But it is what it is, and explains some of the maneuvering in DC, especially the "well, liberals got rolled, but let's see how the indies liked it" beltway thinking.
If this pattern continues, 2011 will be the third straight year that conservatives significantly outnumber moderates—the next largest ideological bloc. Liberalism has been holding steady for the past six years, averaging either 21% or 22%, although notably higher than the 17% average seen in Gallup polling during the early to middle '90s.
Of course, the flaw in that argument is that independent ≠ moderate (44 percent of them, a plurality, are, but 35 percent check in as conservative or very conservative). And the Democratic party (it's not "Democrat party") is more moderate (39) than liberal (only 29), which explains how liberals can be pissed off while the WH still maintains reasonably good numbers from Democrats (we'll see what happens this week).
The Democratic party is a coalition of moderates and liberals (68 percent). The Republican party is a coalition of conservatives and very conservatives (71 percent). Still,
moderates independents aren't trending more conservative and the Democrats are not trending more liberal.
Looks like the Republican party is no place for moderates. But look also to the growth of independents rather than Democrats, as Stan Greenberg points out that weekends like this make people lose faith in government:
Oddly, many voters prefer the policies of Democrats to the policies of Republicans. They just don’t trust the Democrats to carry out those promises.
When you get a moderate after voting for a moderate, don't be surprised if policy isn't always to your liking.