Dec 30 2007

The Silent Moderate Majority

Published by at 1:48 pm under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

The instability of the horse race polls in New Hampshire and Iowa are an indication of a much broader dynamic that the pollsters and the talking heads just cannot get their minds wrapped around. The dedicated party stalwarts – what is left of them – keep cycling around trying to find some other answer than the inevitable choices who would garner broad support. The purity wars still plague the left and right. There is still denial in the parties that the country actually wants to be united, is weary of the raging partisan wars even MORE than they are weary of the of the war on terrorism. The country may be looking to the center as the parties run to the fringes.

If I am right the concern over Iraq will be completely overshadowed by a broad and boiling irritation with the mindless, endless, useless hardcore partisan drivel. It is fine to have opinions and positions and argue them. It is not fine to use overheated rhetoric, gutter politics and the repeated use of personal attacks to cover up for weak and unsupported policy positions. We have seen too much of the latter and want more of the former.

The Dems have destroyed their credibility on Iraq through their self destructive approach on Iraq. They demonizes people who differ with them on the pending defeat in Iraq, creating their far left purity test. The only cheers on the far left come when America loses or al-Qaeda kills. It is hyper-partisanship taken to an absurd extreme. And America is noticing (just ask Senator Ned Lamont). The fact that defeat is never going to actually become reality is of no importance to the far left. To point out reality only results in even more vile insults from those now emotionally wedded to the fantasy that America cannot succeed in Iraq.

The GOP destroyed their credibility in many ways by open and ugly civil war based on purity of cause. The best example is calling their leader ‘El Presidente Jorge Bush’ and disparaging their coalition partners simply because they disagreed with them on what to do with the long term illegal aliens in this country. (Note: no one is distracted or confused by the border issue, what to do with criminal immigrants, and all those other issues which have broad support. They were all addressed in all the bills proposed in Congress. What the far right fears is ‘amnesty’ which is about one subject and one subject only – no matter how much they want to pretend otherwise.) The GOP purity wars rage on about who is the most religious and who is the most angry at immigrants who have lived illegally amongst us for 10-20 years. They have turned off the largest minority in the US, to go along with their abysmal support within the second largest minority. They are more afraid of foreign born neighbors than terrorists with bombs. And they will lash out at any moderate who fails to tow their line.

So, what does this all mean in 2008? Here’s a hint: what polls cannot tell you is what they cannot measure. This is very, very important to understand and appreciate when trying to interpret what is basically scientific data. What is not measured can also be the driving factor in the item being sampled. Whether it is measured or not is irrelevant, its effect is there visible or not. That is why scientists need to understand what could be a factor outside their immediate perceptions.

Look at the Rasmussen numbers which now laughably shows a four way tie! Has the GOP fractured this much? Are the uber religious conservatives still going to walk if Rudy Giuliani wins the nomination? If one looks at the top four contenders three of them are what the far right would call RINOs – their derogatory label for the impure. Recall that Bush’s biggest sins are his RINO tendencies (Miers, Dubai Ports, Immigration). So why are three of the most infamous RINOs now in the hunt for President and only one of the social conservatives limping along in the pack (Huckabee)?

The largest growing political group in this country are the political independents. The folks who will not align with either party (I being a proud member of that group). Are the polls measuring this group? Not if that group has decided to reject the efforts to be measured. Political polls are one of those measurements which require the support of those being measured in order to be accurate. If one major segment of the country becomes so turned off they resist measurement, but still plan to exercise their political clout, then what would be the result on the measurements? Chaos – as we are seeing in the polls now. Chaos because all the models used to extrapolate small samples into models of large populations would be thrown out of kilter.

The polls are gyrating wildly right now, there is no mistake about that. The questions is why? Much of it has to do with the fact you cannot get people sampled during a holiday season that cries out for ignoring the ugliness of politics. And let’s be clear, politics right now is at an ugly low, made all the more apparent when compared to the days of unity after 9-11. But it could be the Holiday sample problem plus something else.

So why would people be turing off to politics in large numbers? Well for one they were lied to. The Democrats promised to end the Iraq war, but never once said their plans entailed surrendering Iraq to al-Qaeda. But even worse they claimed The Surge was a failure. The fact they made these claims before it actually went into full effect is not in any way a mitigating factor for the dems. They lied and America has responded by giving them the lowest approval numbers since polls starting sampling approval levels.

With the GOP it is even more obvious – they back stabbing of Bush was probably the best indication of why there is no benefit in a political alliance with the GOP. If they would stab Bush in the back they would do it to anyone.

George Bush is polling higher than Congress, which means America understand what is going on with Iraq and who is winning the war between him and the GOP. And Bush’s numbers will continue to grow as the reality of success in Iraq sinks in. So what do Americans do about a far left that lied to them about their Commander-in-Chief and a GOP that stabbed him in the back? I suspect they will say enough of dealing with the partisan fringes. That is why Hillary clings to the center to hold off Obama (and his succeeding) and Obama can only dethrone Hillary by running on being a uniter – being change. They need to hewn to the center.

It is also clear the country is rejecting the fringes as fringe candidates whither into oblivion with shocking regularity (Tancredo, Paul). Who will win in Iowa and New Hampshire depends on whether the silent moderate majority will stand up and take the parties back from their fringe elements. I think they will – even in places like Iowa were the party apparatus is still trying to cling to control. We have seen something similar in VA as the GOP has tried many times to not allow popular forces to drive the selection of candidates. Those efforts failed. VA is where the Dems have turned to left of center candidates to win seats – in defiance to their far left fringe. All of these examples are important to understand the context of the numbers in the polls.

I suspect there is a large, hidden force rising out there – not measurable by pollsters because the force is tired of the conventional political process and is not allowing itself to be measured. I think we will see in 2008 the continuation of what started in 2006, which is the electorate throwing out leaders who hewn to the fringes and don’t find compromise and produce results. That is how the Dems grabbed control of Congress, and why they risk losing that control this year.

If Iraq does continue to go well, then the big frustration in the country will not be Iraq but the uselessness of hyper-partisan warfare. The RINOs and DINOs determine elections, and this is their year to send a signal to wake up the parties. I think that is the big hidden force at work out there, the move to the moderate middle and rejection of the fringes.

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “The Silent Moderate Majority”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:


    A bit of different viewpoint here. Yeah I know that comes as a big shock.

    First , even as you have pointed out the issues for even trying to get polling data due to the calendar, you have and right so pointed out all year that even in the best of polling times, that there are major credibility issues popping up with the mechanics of a lot of the polls.

    I don’t know if anyone has been able to say what they have done to work around the number of cellphone only people which they can’t poll.

    In the last week or so Pollster has released a survey of polling firms about how credible they rate the competition relative to Iowa. Rasmussen and Zogby and American Research Group were rated near the bottom of the stack.

    Then they also took a look at historic Iowa polls near the vote date and compared them to actual vote results and the combination of the two left a real mixed bag of whether the polls are even worth looking at.

    On the overall political climate, yes the are a few loud and proud on the far right, but their numbers and intensity are nothing compared to the daily spew on the far left. From all I read, there really is not even a close comparison between the two.

    My take is that the far left is trying to drag things to the left so fast that the balance of the country is being left behind. I don’t think the noisy members of the right have near the influence that you claim and that it was for the most part something for the media to give a megaphone to for their own reasons. I think there are a lot who support their general concepts and in certain things it is wide support that cuts across voter boundaries, but it’s just that they aren’t very vocal about it until a massive number rejected the immigration bill, but I believe the bill was so all encompassing that the rejection came for lots of reasons and not as some seem to want to pin it on being one or two key points. In short there was enough to hate about it to go around.

    The right in general has pretty much not altered from historic norms and is just mostly being self defensive due to the stepped up attacks of the far left taking to the offense and getting more out of hand and aggressive because of the lack of success they are having. If they had not acted in a defensive manner , the far left would have drug them like a ham behind the car training greyhounds for racing.

    My take is that the extreme left has gotten all the press love , the traditional dems, the middle and the traditional right have all been minimized by the media and thus in all reality it is likely that the country as a whole may have not changed a lot from where we have always have known it to be in the past.

    Also I believe that since the campaign was pushed so far forward this cycle that there is a lot of campaign weariness out there now and due to all the issues with them and the way they were conducted the debates have done nothing to really have vetted the candidates or sort out the wheat from the chaff.

    It sure would be interesting to know if the polling firms had to establish new poll pools because long standing people of historic repeat poll participation have simply opted out this time around.

    I tend to think the far left and the near far left have been driving the poll numbers because of their activist ways and their many special interest groups.

    The muddiness of the stem cell mess and the large number looking rather strange at the whole global warming issue is also making a lot of the middle back off as well as some others. Throw in a lot of Hollywood behavior and just trying to make ends meet plus housing issues and thats a lot to chew on for the average person.

  2. MerlinOS2 says:

    Just an example of commentary on the left

    Clearly, we are dealing with an extremely conservative set of decision-makers in DC within both parties and a public that is completely cut out of the process.  That is bipartisanship, by the numbers.  The vote authorizing the war in Iraq was a bipartisan vote, and partisanship would have stopped it.  Five years later, wiretapping authority has been expanded and legalized by a bipartisan majority; partisanship would have stopped it.  The Military Commissions Act which destroyed habeas corpus and legalized torture passed by a bipartisan vote; partisanship would have stopped it.  Every attempt to reign in the national security authoritarian state has been beaten back by a bipartisan majority; partisanship would have pushed to roll it back.  In fact, if we could just get Democrats to consistently vote the way the public would like on issue after issue, this would be a progressive country.  Partisanship in other words would mean a progressive country responsive to the public, and bipartisanship means an authoritarian country where the public is cut out.

    Even though it is not a rant you can almost feel the disappointment with how nothing is going right for the poor boy.

    The talking points are all there, but without the admission they can’t stand on their own merits.  Just that there is something wrong in the whole process.

    That’s part of the reason for the silent center, to speak up they would be forced to addresses this issue by some people who the likely really even don’t want to have to talk to. 

  3. MerlinOS2 says:


    It stands to reason that if the Dems have already kneecapped funding for the fence which only there to slow down the in rush that even if your supported new laws for enforcement and deportation had passed they would have been the first provisions to hit the cutting room floor.

  4. Terrye says:


    I agree in many ways, but I think that you could put Huckabee in that RINO category. He is too soft on immigration, not hawkish enough, and too soft on trade for the right to consider him one of them. He just happens to be an Evangelical Christian. Bush is too btw.

    This does not mean that Huckabee is another Bush, I don’t think he is, but the right does not like Huckabee. I think that there is a big difference between people who go to church, are pro life, worry about the poor {including the children of illegals} and who often tend to be isolationists and hardcore right. These folks are very common in places like Iowa. The only yard sign I have seen so far is for Huckabee. I don’t think he can hang in there for the long term…but I think he is responding to something he hears from lots of people. As for his going after Bush, who doesn’t? It is just ridiculous to hear all these people who have bitched and moaned about Bush getting all self righteous because of something Huckabee said. Please.

    But I do think that the whole immigration thing has gotten out of hand and the right has not won one single election using this issue, if anything their uncompromising attitude has cost them. I have not as of yet heard any realistic and logistically feasible means of doing what ever it is they demand be done. In fact I am not sure what they want. Oh yes, for the government to enforce the laws. blah blah blah. That is not a plan, it is a mantra.

    I don’t support drivers licenses for illegals. I want to see the border secure, all of that, but so far these guys seem more interested in playing politics than in creating realistic policy and that is what is hurting them. People have heard it all before, time and again.


  5. Terrye says:


    That fence is being built. I do not doubt that there will be changes in the fence, exactly how it is built and I know for sure that the right will say they have been lied to and used etc. it is a given that they will hate whatever the government does down there. Count on it.

    But people need to remember that the bill also states that the government has to work with the locals and a lot of those locals in places like Texas are very unhappy. The fence is going through people’s property, through towns which predate the border itself, it is interfering with water and all sorts of disputes have come up. I would not be a bit surprised if they do not try to compromise with the locals to get the thing done. I have also heard that the Indians are none too happy with certain parts of the fence either, although I think their concerns may have been resolved.

    However, the fence that has been done and the additional man power on the border is having an effect already and if there is a slow down in the economy it might have even more effect. States are becoming more aggressive as well.

    Will the Democrats try to stop the fence? Some of them might, but they voted for the fence in the first place and they know people are watching.

    My Democratic Senator Bayh and my Democratic Congressman Ellsworth have certainly given no indication that they are going to go mushy on this. I think that Republicans forget not all Democrats are like the Governor of New York. However, the Democrats have managed to avoid being labeled as bigots. Republicans were nastier than they had to be and it cost them.

  6. MerlinOS2 says:


    I have looked at the bill.

    Changed from double fence to single fence.

    The is a new list of 15 requirements that must be met before each ‘section’ can be accomplished.

    This new since this bill section is defined as 15 miles of fence line, even if it say for example will only be covered by camera towers or a UAV.

    The entire composite fence plan comes before any more fence funds will be authorized

    I know Texans have a lot of issues and know them much better than I ever can. But their issue for one item seems to be cattle walking down to the river for water, since the border is in the middle of the river. If they put the fence at river edge for example they can incorporate pumping stations and water troughs to compensate. For land on the border, I look at it in the same way as most property anywhere, if it doesn’t exist it should have as far as having easements for public utility usage and purposes. Where I live for example 5 feet either side of adjoining property fence lines is the area where city gas and water lines run to the closest point to service the houses.

    It make more sense to run a gas main across the middle of the block than under the streets and dig it up every time you need to patch the durn thing. Same for water and sewer.

  7. MerlinOS2 says:

    The city owns the land from the 1 foot inside the house edge of the sidewalk to 1 foot past the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street.

    We have small pedestals or ground vaults where the water meter, gas meter and on new construction the electric meter are placed.

    Older houses have house drops for electric/phone/cable tv from polls, but if the house is replaced the electric feed is underground to the pedestal for your new hookup point , same for phone/cable. When all house drops are eliminated the poll goes away unless it has a street light on it. All utilities are being moved underground making them more secure for a hurricane prone area and it also eliminates having to trim weird looking cuts or donuts into trees to give a pass through for the poll mounted cables.

  8. MerlinOS2 says:

    The old sewer water and gas lines under the streets themselves have been abandoned as beyond economical repair. The old sewer pipes have been re sleeved inside to fix them and are really to small for the city growth. The old water lines were undersized and chemical buildup had reduced the flow rate due to deposits like lime and fire hydrants had been color coded by how much their flow was below what they were supposed to have for minimums. Existing trees were routed around because of the root systems in the grassy area between the sidewalks and the street, but no new trees can be planted even as replacements on the city area. Only thing that can be added now is bedding style plants that will not normally grow above 2 feet high. You plant at your own risk and there is no liability for the city taking out your flower bed to work on a pipe for example.

  9. Bikerken says:

    I agee with Terrye, the whole immigration thing has gotten out of hand:

  10. AJStrata says:

    Bikerken and Terry,

    MS 13 is a gang of violent criminals the bill last spring would have deported without any hearing in front of a judge. The bill the tancredo-ites killed off was the answer. Now you can’t deport violent criminals because it takes months in hearings. The bill the amnesty hypochondriacs killed would have booted those thugs and they would not have had a chance to defame the memorial.

    This is the price you people paid because you could not stomach long term, law abiding illegal aliens getting off with back taxes and a fine (not a minor punishment). This is one of the hundreds of good things sacrificed to the hypochondriacs.

    Don’t whine now that you see the results of Tancredo’s and Hannity’s handy work! This is the result of doing nothing – more of the same. You folks claimed all would be fine under current laws. Not my fault or Bush’s fault you folks fell for the biggest lie of the century.

    Enjoy your victory over comprehensive immigration reform. Revel in the products of your efforts. These thugs being in our country is what Tancredo and his ilk worked so hard to achieve. Enjoy it.

  11. AJStrata says:

    Last comment was not meant to be directed at Bikerken and Terrye, just a response to them…..

    Type slower AJ….

  12. VinceP1974 says:

    If things like kicking out MS13 without a hearing is so important (and it is), then Congress can make a law just for that purpose any time it wants.

    That it won’t do that proves the insincerity of leadership in Congress. They are willing to put the security of the country up for auction as long as they get their way to legalize their future voting base.

    I’m glad that bill died. That you choose to attack the people who demand security first instead of the people who are holding security hostage to politics says a lot about you.

  13. AJStrata says:


    Actually, not they cannot do it anytime they want. They need consensus and compromise to garner the votes. MS 13 is here now because the far right left them here in the fit of amnesty hypochondria. They should be proud of their efforts and the results! But whether they are proud or not, they still get to own the debacle they created. We will not see immigration reform again for years because of their short sighted paranoia and they deserve all the credit they are due.