As I’ve said before, Democrats can only win if they step to the right. Zogby agrees:
Asked about the political philosophy of the candidates, 45% said Republican Kilgore was too conservative for their tastes, while 39% said Democrat Kaine was too liberal. While 34% said Kaine was at just the right spot on the political spectrum, just 28% agreed that Kilgore’s philosophy was right on the money.
In the end, Kaine ran not to the left, but borrowed conservative themes to appear the moderate while successfully painting Kilgore as too extreme.
I would have like to seen which issues Kilgore was considered to be “too extreme” on. Given that the death penalty and immigration were the key issues, I’d wager that Kaine sucessfully painted Jerry “Kill-more” as all too happy to kill convicts and shove out immigrants.
Other findings? Bush hurt Kilgore. Warner helped Kaine.
So what does this do to my “there is no sensible center” hypothesis? I’d still maintain that Dems are stepping to the right to stay electable (who will reasonably claim Kaine or Warner to be radical liberals?) and that “centrism” for all intensive purposes is dead, dead, dead for lack of definition. Dems are running to the right in order to compete with a much more conservative America.
Good news nationally for Warner and Lieberman. Bad news nationally for Hillary and Dean.