Political scientists often divide the United States of America into red conservative Republican states and blue liberal Democratic states, but is that really political reality? Not according to this new Esquire-NBC News survey. Instead, the
The survey shows that a majority of the American population belongs to the political center, which is made of four distinct sub-types:
Minivan Moderates: Mostly white suburbanite women clustered in the Midwest and South with pro-choice/anti-gun tendencies and a distrust of government
The MBA Middle: Mostly white, well-educated voters in upscale sections of the South and West who blend a don't-tread-on-me-streak with progressive social views.
Pick-up Populist: Mostly white, low-income voters living in the South and Midwest who worry the economy is unfair and Washington is wasteful.
WhateverMan: Very young and diverse voters in the Northeast and West who seem to lean left but are so politically "meh" it's hard to tell.
This American political center is flanked to the left by the Liberal Base, composed of:
Bleeding Hearts: Mostly young, unmarried, white, well-educated voters in the Northeast and West who are extremely supportive of the progressive agenda.
The Gospel Left: Mostly black party-line progressives who live in Southern cities but with God as their co-pilot fly rightward on social issues.
... and to the right by the Conservative Base, composed of:
The Righteous Right: Middle-aged white voters in the South who use faith as their guide on gay marriage (bad), abortion (very bad), and programs for the poor (ok).
Talk Radio Heads: Alpha male conservatives who want government to ban abortion and support traditional marriage but otherwise stay out of our private lives.
NBC News summarizes this political center as such:
Pluralities believe that the political system is broken (49 percent), and the economy is bad (50 percent) and likely to stay that way a while (41 percent). Majorities fear another 9/11 or Boston-style bombing is likely (70 percent), and that their children’s lives will be more difficult than their own (62 percent), which are either stuck in place or getting worse (84 percent) — while the rich keep getting richer at the expense of everyone else (70 percent).
The new American center has a socially progressive streak, supporting gay marriage (64 percent), the right to an abortion for any reason within the first trimester (63 percent), and legalized marijuana (52 percent). Women, workers and the marginal would also benefit if the center had its way, supporting paid sick leave (62 percent); paid maternity leave (70 percent); tax-subsidized childcare to help women return to work (57 percent); and a federal minimum wage hike to no less than $10 per hour (67 percent).
Esquire has a very interesting summary of what the American Center thinks of a wide range of issues, from the economy to gun control and abortion.