Esquire and NBC probe the American political center

By Dane Test Sherrets on October 16, 2013

It's bigger than you think.  And more interesting.  The results of their poll are here.  The pollsters write:  

"An exclusive Esquire-NBC News survey shows us that everything we are told about politics in America today—that there is no middle ground between left and right, blue and red, us and them—is wrong. The data, compiled by the Benenson Strategy Group (pollster for Obama for America '08 and '12) and Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies (lead pollster for Romney for President), show us there is a large group of American voters—even a majority—who make up a New American Center that is passionate, persuadable, and very real. They are merely waiting for Washington to find them."


Other takeaways:

1.  The political center is not synonymous with "independents".  Many voters whom the pollsters identify as centrists currently self-identify as Republicans or Democrats.

2.  The political center holds views that fit into both Republican and Democratic ideological camps.  For example, most centrists feel the government spends too much but they also tend to support a carbon tax as a tool for reducing pollution.  The pollsters write:  "Nearly two thirds of the Center agree that when it comes to politics, they often agree with some ideas that Democrats have and some ideas that Republicans have." 

3.  Forty-nine percent say the two-party system is out of date.  (This is consistent with a recent Gallup finding that 60% of Americans feel we need a new third party.)  Centrists are not happy with the state of government overall.  The pollsters summarize their findings:  "They're not sure how well the Constitution is aging. They don't much like the two-party system. And they don't care for politicians." 

4.  The American public is not as hopelessly partisan as Washington.  There is real value in giving voice and power to the political middle.

Take a look at the full results.