I don’t expect DC-bubble-dwelling-incumbent Democratic-shitheads like Tom Carper to ever get it, but pretending to be a Republican is unpopular among voters – while pretending to be a Democrat is popular. The proof is all around us. Even this Presidential election confirms it.
The data, however, suggest … that both candidates have benefited in the general election every time they have taken a left turn. President Obama was in deep political trouble 15 months ago when he cut the closest thing he could to a “grand bargain” with House Speaker John A. Boehner to slash the federal budget by trillions, and he did nothing for his popularity nine months earlier when he extended the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy. Not until he began talking like a populist did he begin picking up steam in the polls. Indeed, one of the most powerful messages the Democrats chose not to use in the 2010 midterm elections — which would have supported a policy that was extremely popular then and remains as popular now — was a simple message on taxes I tested nationally, which won in every region and with every demographic, including Tea Partyers: “In tough times like these, millionaires ought to be giving to charity, not getting it.” Once that position (and other populist appeals) became central to Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign, the election looked like it would be a rout.
BUT then in the first debate, Mr. Romney moved to the center, taking back his promise of tax cuts for the rich and proposing instead to let people choose which tax deductions they wanted to take (for their home mortgages, for example) but limiting the amount that can be deducted. Perhaps understandably, the president didn’t know what to do with a Republican challenger who was outflanking him half the time on his left, and suddenly the race was competitive again. For both men, a pragmatic left-hand turn helped them steer their way toward a middle class desperate for hope.