by Patrick Appel

A reader writes:

You posted this from Tom Jensen, so it appears that you believe it to be true (or at least likely to be true):

"Conservative Democrats are ultimately a bigger threat to Obama's reelection prospects than liberal ones. They don't necessarily make a lot of noise about it when they're unhappy- they just go out and vote for Republicans. Liberals on the other hand really have nowhere to go ... "

For me as a Progressive, it does indeed seem to be the way things work, but if this were just because of the internal dynamics of a two-party system, then it should be true of the GOP as well. However, no one would ever say that Moderate Republicans have more leverage than the very conservatives within the Republican Party despite their smaller numbers. Why do you think this is?

There are many more conservative Democrats than Republican liberals. Two charts from a recent Gallup survey on ideology illustrate this:

Democrat_Ideology

Republican_Ideology

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.