“Centrists do not have to use media spin. The truth will always give centrists an advantage. ”
The Democratic Party and the Republican Party may be polar opposites, but many Democrats argue that they should follow in the footsteps of their political opponents. They point to Republicans’ landslide victory in the 2010 midterms as evidence that promoting an uncompromising ideological agenda and pandering to the base is more effective than catering to the center.
However, the GOP is a completely different animal than the Democratic Party. Both consist of ideological partisans, yet it’s the Republican Party that is more ideologically uniform. As The Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus explains, “Republicans are a uniformly red party becoming redder by the year.” But the Democratic Party is a “distinctly purple party.”
Recent Research by Todd Eberly at the moderate think tank Third Way reveals that Republican activists and voters are ideologically consistent. They share roughly the same ideological perspective. However, the activists that control the Democratic Party are much more ideological and partisan than Democratic voters.
Eberly’s research reveals that in the ten presidential elections since 1972, those who identified as Democrats rated themselves on average 3.77 on a 7-point liberal-to-conservative ideological scale, with 4 being “moderate.” However, the activists, those who donated time or money to a campaign, rated themselves an average of 3.06 which is much more liberal.
Third Way’s report reveals a disconnect between those who control the Democratic Party through their participation and those moderate voters who help them win elections. The Democratic Party is not a blue party. It is a purple party that consists of progressives and moderates. And if they don’t cater to the center where the moderates are at then they will not win elections. That is why Democrats cannot pander to their base.