Published November 25, 2008
Since the election, a debate has begun over what its significance really is. Have we shifted as a nation, or are we as Bill Kristol says, "still a center-right country?" Though only 22% of the country self-identifies as "liberal" versus 34% as "conservative," the 44% who call themselves "moderate" are the sticking point. With the exception of the 1994 election, a Democrat president has been elected by a national majority for the last four elections (one of which was overruled by the Supreme Court).
Looking at an election-eve poll by Democracy Corps and beyond the labels, we can see where voters fell on the issues: moderates said our national security depends on building strong ties with other nations rather than on our own military strength by 63 to 31. This aligns with liberals' 76-20 percent and runs counter to conservatives' 51-43 lean.
Though conservatives would rather stay in Iraq longer (66-33), liberals (92-7) and moderates (64-33) both want out. Moderates and liberals both see a benefit to government regulation, by 60-36 and 75-18, respectively. Conservatives, meanwhile, stick to the deregulation that allowed our current mess to fester, by 52-44.
Social issues? All except conservatives (63-31) say homosexuality should be accepted by society. Liberals weigh in at 82-17 and moderates at 61-28. The numbers go on...
The point? Lining up America by position, not label, and it's clear the only debate is when we really were a center-right nation.
I won't have a post next week while I'm on vacation in sunnier climes. In the meantime, I invite you to check out the most commented posts from the past:
Palin comparison (25)
Out of Iraq (15)
Too many wars (14)
McCain Meltdown (12)
What's on the ballot (12)
Whither Detroit? (12)