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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: Public Supports Alternative Energy, Citizenship Path

In his current ‘Public Opinion Snapshot’ at the Center for American Progress Web Pages, TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira reports on The Pew Research Center study, “Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology.” Teixeira finds significant common ground on two key issues in particular among Americans of varying self-described political beliefs. Teixeira explains that the study,

…segments the public into nine groups: eight politically active groups and one inactive group (bystanders) composed entirely of nonvoters. Of the eight active groups, two are described as “mostly Republican” (staunch conservatives and Main Street Republicans), three as “mostly Democratic” (new coalition Democrats, hard-pressed Democrats, and solid liberals), and three as “mostly independent” (libertarians, disaffecteds, and postmoderns). In reality, however, postmoderns lean strongly Democratic, while libertarians and disaffecteds lean strongly Republican. So there are really four active Democratic and four active Republican groups.

With respect to alternative energy, Teixeira find broad support:

…Overall, the public prioritizes developing alternative energy over expanding oil, coal, and natural gas by a 63-29 margin. And, as shown in the chart below, seven of Pew’s eight active typology groups support this position, including a whopping 40-point margin among the Main Street Republican group. Only the staunch conservatives (9 percent of the public) dissent from the rest.

On providing a apth to citizenship for illegal immigrants, Teixeira cites even braoder agreement among the public:

Similarly, the public as a whole supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently in the United States by 72-24. And again, seven of eight active typology groups endorse this position, including Main Street Republicans by 19 points, libertarians by 34 points, and disaffecteds by 36 points. Only the staunch conservatives dissent, and even here there are as many supporting as opposing the position (49-49).

Despite the vociferous objections of far-right ideologues, it appears that providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and developing alternative energy are two progressive ideas that win support across the political spectrum.

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