In 2012, Conservatives are STILL the Center

In December of 2010, I launched this blog with a post entitled Conservatives are the Center.  Earlier this year, In a new Gallup poll,  the point has once again been demonstrated, conservatives are the most populous ideological group in the nation.

Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S.

According to polls throughout 2011, 40% of Americans consider themselves to be conservative, while 35% call themselves moderate at 21% admit to being liberal.  So once again, there are nearly twice as many conservatives as liberals.

Yet we as conservatives continue to try to pander to the so-called moderates.  The reality, of course, is that the vast majority of moderates are either liberals who realize they are the minority and don't want that stigma; conservatives who don't realize that we are the majority and thus claim moderateness; and finally those who simply want to be thought of as intelligent and thoughtful, and have thus adapted a default position of sitting smack dab in the middle of the fence with a leg on each side so as to maintain their desired appearance.

There is, of course, an electoral spin on this mindset.  Liberals, because they genuinely are a minority, have to move toward the center to have a snowball's chance in July of being elected (after all, you can't win an election on your actual beliefs when only 21% of Americans share your values). To win, they need to get close to 90% of the self-identified moderates to vote for them.  That's staggering.

Conservatives, on the other hand, only need to sway just over 30% of the self-identified moderates to win, because we have a clear plurality of the population just with fellow conservatives!  Why?  Because we conservatives ARE the centrist position!  We are the pulse of most Americans!  We just need to get a relatively small piece of those moderates to join us, while the Left has to get the majority.

Need more proof of this?  Let's look at registered Independents. Now, depending on your state, registering as an Independent ranges from a complete waste of party affiliation to a logical and reasonable choice.   In some states, , Independents can vote in their choice of the Democratic or Republican primaries, which is very useful if your party has an incumbent running unopposed in that year's primary election.  It can be used to moderate your opposing party's candidate (or to just cause trouble like some did in Operation Chaos).  In states with closed primaries, however, being a registered Independent keeps you from ever voting in a primary election and having a choice as to whom you can vote for in the general election. 

Independents are not synonymous with moderates but it's a fair comparision, so let's look at the conservative, moderate and liberal numbers within that group:

Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in US

Well would you look at that?  35% of registered Independents consider themselves conservatives!  So if we can get them with conservatism, it looks like conservatives can win elections with comfortable ease.  The truth remains: Conservatives don't need to pander to moderates to get elected...we're already the majority!  We're the center position!  We're the group that embodies what the nation believes! 

So, my message remains the same to conservatives, to Republicans: Be proud to be conservative.  To be a conservative means standing for traditional American values, for rugged individualism, for a "Yes YOU Can (with hard work)!" mentality and not "Yes We Can (with other people's money)!"  Let's just be conservatives, and let the chips fall where they predictably may...on our side.