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The Logic of Centrism

June 4, 2015

If you have ten minutes, go to Susan Arbetter’s website and dial up the podcast from yesterday’s show – June 3.  Advance to the 37:30 mark, that’s when Susan interviews Bruce Gyory, political consultant and political science professor at SUNY Albany.

We’re fans of Bruce. We always watch him on Liz Benjamin’s show and listen to him when Susan has him as a guest. He’s a regular on both shows.

His skill set includes institutional knowledge plus expert poll analysis. He’s one of those people who not only reads crosstabs, but studies them.

This particular interview with Susan was about the moderate center of the electorate and the need for both parties to appeal to it while maintaining their ideological base.

Gyory’s is pretty even-handed in warning both the Republicans and Democrats that the views of the majority of voters in their primaries do not comport with the majority of voters in the general election.

He notes that this isn’t a new phenomenon at all. Lincoln confronted it on the question of slavery in the 1860s, as have political leaders ever since.

Unfortunately, in New York today, there’s a tendency of pols and party leaders to delude themselves on this age old political challenge. They allow the passion of those on the fringe of the political spectrum to pull their parties away from the center.

It’s brilliant stuff from Gyory – well worth the effort to dial up.

See: http://www.wcny.org/radio/capitolpressroom/

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