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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Is Moderation the Next Big Thing in American Politics?

Evidence indicates Americans are tired of both left- and right-wing extremes.

Pundits are declaring that America is a nation divided. In fairness, this is a true statement, but it’s not a new phenomenon. America has been a nation divided since at least the election of 1800. That said, the division is not a dichotomous one. Recent data show that a large and growing number of Americans self-identify as neither Republican nor Democrat, but as Independent. It would appear that a large number of Americans are growing increasingly tired of the ever more extreme stances of the two major parties, instead favoring more moderate approaches to governance. An excellent microcosmic example of this is the recent special election in Pennsylvania Congressional District 18, a district that in the 2016 presidential election voted in favor of Donald Trump by 20 percentage points. Despite its deeply red tendencies and both the President and Vice President campaigning in support of the Republican congressional candidate, PA18 narrowly elected a Democrat to represent it. A Democrat, it should be noted, who publicly distanced himself from major Democratic leaders and campaigned on issues more typically associated with right-wing politicians. What does this mean for American politics going forward? Join James Harrigan and Antony Davies as they discuss this and more on this week’s episode of Words and Numbers.

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Quick Hits

The singular “they.”

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Topic of the Week: Moderation

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  • James R. Harrigan is a Senior Editor at the American Institute for Economic Research. He is also co-host of the Words & Numbers podcast.

  • Dr. Antony Davies is an Associate professor of Economics at Duquesne University, and co-host of the podcast, Words & Numbers.