Where are Americans, really?
Neither on the left nor the right so much as in the center.
They’ll take a Bud over Bordeaux on a night out, football over baseball at home — and they’re “waiting for Washington to find them.”
“The majority of Americans don’t look at issues or politics through a lens of ideology or partisanship, but values and experience,” reports Daniel Franklin, who led a study by the Barack Obama-backing Benenson Strategy Group and Mitt Romney-backing Public Opinion Strategies, an online survey of 2,410 registered voters in August developed for NBC News and Esquire magazine and published in Esquire’s November issue, reporting on “The New American Center.”
“This isn’t a center that’s uncertain about where they stand,” Franklin reports at Kantar Media. “But their attitudes don’t fit neatly into the categories Washington has created for them. The center is dynamic and persuadable, creating an opportunity for politicians and businesses alike to reevaluate how they communicate and connect with the American public.”
– “Nearly half (45 percent) of voters identified in the survey as being in the center consider themselves to be liberal (20 percent) or conservative (25 percent), indicating a disconnect between where voters think they fall ideologically, and where their actual beliefs place them on the ideological spectrum.”
– “41 percent of voters in the center are pessimistic about the US economy during the next few years, and another 58 percent are pessimistic about US politics.”
– “A majority (54 percent) agrees that the U.S. needs the government to maintain programs like food stamps, welfare and Medicaid. However, the same percentage also agrees that the government should not legislate how Americans lead their personal lives, including owning guns, abortion, marriage and marijuana.”
– “31 percent of voters in the center are most likely to drink a beer when they go out, followed by wine (21 percet) and clear spirits such as vodka or gin (15 percent). When it comes to sports, 46 percent most enjoy watching pro football, followed by major league baseball (26 percent) and college football (19 percent). Twenty-six percent and 21 percent of the center, respectively, don’t drink alcohol or watch sports on television.”
“Everything we are told about politics in America today — that there is no middle ground between left and right, blue and red, us and them —is wrong,” Esquire’s editors write. “There is a large group of American voters — even a majority — who make up a New American Center that is passionate, persuadable, and very real. They are merely waiting for Washington to find them.”