The center has not held. Democrats have moved left, and Republicans have moved right, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. Those on the opposite ends of the ideological spectrum disagree about everything from the type of community in which they prefer to live to the type of people they would welcome into their families — and they are the likeliest to vote. Read between the lines to find hope for those who believe in moderation: Just 39 percent of those who hold a mix of liberal and conservative values vote regularly. If those in the middle voted more often, who knows? The country's politics might re-center themselves, too.
The data in the Pew report are based on a national telephone survey of 10,013 adults, on landlines and cellphones, from January through March of this year and then a follow-up with a subset of those respondents by phone and the Web. A second Pew report, coming out shortly, will look beyond Red vs. Blue divisions to gain a clearer understanding of the dynamic nature of the "center" of the American electorate and the internal divides on both the left and the right. Find a further summary and links to the full Pew report at pewrsr.ch/1l7Z2ON.