Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Unique Opportunity for Democrats

The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne Jr. has joined the moderate rumblings with a column claiming that moderates are getting angry. He notes:

The latest poll to bring home this message was released late last week by the Democracy Corps, a Democratic consortium led by pollster Stan Greenberg and consultant James Carville. Greenberg and Carville are not triumphalist. They are careful to note that "Democrats are not yet integral to the narrative" of American politics and that the decline in the Republicans' public image "is not accompanied by image gains for the Democrats." Democrats still have a lot of work to do.

But one finding deserves more attention than it has received: The "biggest drops" in the Republicans' standing, the pollsters noted, "have come from people who do not identify with a party," with "those who describe themselves as ideologically moderate."

I’m sure those on the far right and on the far left will say the poll was skewed to fit Carville’s aim of a more centrist Democratic party. But there’s plenty of reason to think the poll is right (not least of which is the explosion of centrist blogs since the election).

This is a unique opportunity for the Democrats. Will the party leaders seize the opportunity to claim the center? Or will they continue to pretend that pandering to their narrow base is the best way to victory?


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