Why Do Voters Think Democrats Are More 'Extreme' Than GOP?

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A new poll from The Hill newspaper has left-wing political strategists scratching their heads. Despite Democratic efforts to paint Republicans as far-right extremists, "likely voters in battleground districts see extremists as having a more dominant influence over the Democratic Party than they do over the GOP." As Alexander Bolton reports:

44 percent of likely voters say the Democratic Party is more dominated by its extreme elements, whereas 37 percent say it’s the Republican Party that is more dominated by extremists. The revelations in a survey of 10 toss-up congressional districts across the country point to problems for Democrats, who are trying to motivate a disillusioned base and appeal to independents moving to the GOP ahead of the Nov. 2 election.

The Hill commissioned the Democratic polling firm Penn, Schoen and Berland to conduct the survey. Here's how the left and right are parsing the news:

  • This Is Pretty Remarkable, writes libertarian blogger Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway:

If nothing else, this would seem to indicate that voter disdain with the incumbent party has extended so far as to apparently ignore their spin about the opposition. It’s also, of course, a reflection of the fact that the United States is, at heart, a center-right country and that the Obama Administration’s biggest miscalculation has been the degree it has tried to move the nation to the left at the same time that the economy continues to languish. Granted, Republicans would probably be suffering a similar fate in November if they were in power right now, but the extent to which the turn against the Democratic Party represents a backlash for ideological over-reaching cannot be discounted.

  • GOP Propaganda Explains It, writes liberal blogger Michael Tedesco at Comments from the Left:
This Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll is proof positive that the GOP political infrastructure running FoxNEWS and it’s little sibling radio empire echo chambers have effectively used propaganda to insulate a large segment of the U.S. voting population from reality... If reasonable people wish to ever see their political process return to some semblance of sanity then the focus of grass roots efforts on reform needs to be directed on reversing the decades of destruction wrought on journalism
  • I Don't Believe It, writes liberal blogger Booman at Booman Tribune:

In case anyone's interested, Schoen and Penn make their living off of corporate clients, and they do everything they can to make the Democratic Party sympathetic to those client's interests. All this poll represents is an effort to blame the midterm losses on the Democrats going too far to the left. No one in their right mind is going to believe these poll results. But you can believe this:

  • You're Missing the Message, Liberals, writes JammieWearingFool: "Clear-thinking people have tuned out the lamestream media and their mantra about how crazy tea partiers are. The think they can constantly harp on Angle and O'Donnell yet they overlook the surge nationwide from independents toward the GOP. The media won't change, they'll just lose more viewers and readers."

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