Gallup Poll: R's Are Less Polarizing Than D's

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Jun 14, 2010 8:27 AM
Forty-nine percent of Americans say the Democratic Party is "too liberal," whereas 40% of the country say the Republican Party is too conservative.

That's a change from two years ago, when 39% of the country said the Democratic Party was "too liberal," and 38% said the Republican Party was "too conservative."

The Gallup poll provides this analysis:
In their efforts to attract widespread voter support in general elections, parties and their candidates generally want to avoid being perceived as too ideologically extreme. Indeed, a common strategy in U.S. electoral politics is for Republican candidates to try to paint their Democratic opponents as too far left, and Democratic candidates to try to convince voters that their Republican opponents are too far right. Currently, by 49% to 40%, more Americans perceive the Democratic Party as too liberal than say the Republican Party is too conservative, giving the Republicans an advantage in an important election year. With Election Day more than four months away, however, the Democratic Party has an opportunity in the 2010 campaign to try to alter voters' perceptions of the party's ideology.