AI Project / Reuters

Today’s issue, in three points:

  • America’s growing political polarization means the country has fewer moderates. Their role in politics is uncertain.

  • Our Masthead debate about campaign strategies—seize the center or shore up the base?—produced a wide range of definitions of the political “center.”

  • Those competing definitions suggest that while some voters might wear the badge of a centrist, it isn’t a very useful identification in analytics.

Who Is a Centrist?

By Karen Yuan

Which is a more effective way to win an election: Rally the base, or appeal to centrist voters? As America’s midterm elections approach, this question was the focus of a debate in the Masthead forums. As the debate made clear, the matter is complicated by the absence of a unifying definition for centrists. “The only issue that ignites all moderates is not being extreme,” Nels stated. “Not a great rallying cry.”

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