Friday, November 10, 2006

Winning in the Middle

Karl Kurtz of the National Conference of State Legislators reports that speakers at a meeting sponsored by that organization emphasized that "the center" was the big winner in Tuesday's elections. According to Bill Schneider of CBS News, independents broke 57-43 in favor of Democratic candidates and provided them with their election day victories.

The talk about governing from the center will concern conservatives who will think of this as a notion that would require compromises of principles, but there is a different lesson to be learned here. After six years of strategic leadership that has focused on mobilizing the base, many conservatives have forgotten how to explain their principles and positions to people on the fence. Ronald Reagan certainly did not campaign from the center, but he managed to appeal to large numbers of "Reagan Democrats."

Numerous Democrats won by appealing to independent voters based on conservative principles. Some Republicans might want to learn that art.

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