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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

‘Progressive’ Rebranding a Big Winner for Dems

From his new blog Open Left, Chris Bowers comments on a recent Rasmussen Poll indicating a plurality of Americans “now consider it a positive description to call a candidate politically progressive” and the implications for Democrats. Bowers cites the figures from the poll as 35% favoring ‘progressive’, 32% for ‘conservative’, 29% ‘moderate’ and 20% ‘liberal’.
Bowers calls the poll “a reality check for those ‘serious’ pundits who think they have their finger on the pulse of America,” and says:

Progressivism is winning the day in American politics. That it is more net favorable than the term “conservative” is a major finding about American politics, and a serious blow to the conservative notion that they are a natural plurality. That progressive is even viewed more favorably than “moderate” is utterly stunning…

In a way, it’s a victory for re-framing. For Dems the refusal to let the opposition define the terms of identity has paid off. The Republicans will continue to demonize Democrats as “liberals.” But they are preaching to their shrinking choir. America has moved on, and it appears that a healthy majority — 35 % progressive +20% liberals +some moderates — now embrace social reforms for a better society, placing a higher value on progress than simply being “conservative.”

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