Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When polling validates the obvious

By Richard K. Barry

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll tells us basically what we already knew, which is that GOP primary voters in 2016 “will be much more conservative than the populace in general, as they were in 2012, and far more conservative than Democratic primary voters are liberal.”

"The Republican candidates may therefore have to walk a finer line than Democrats to win over conservatives in the primaries without putting off moderates ahead of the general election.”

Put in a different way, a relatively moderate Republican presidential nominee would have the best chance of winning the general election, but a more difficult time actually securing the nomination.

Hillary, on the other hand, has no incentive or need to move to the left as Democratic primary voters are generally speaking fairly moderate, as is the electorate more generally.

Given that all candidates understand this dynamic, the only interesting question left is how each navigates the course, how true each remains to a winning formula.

Elections, of course, are never without surprises.

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