There's been endless rhetoric from Republicans over the last year about how far to the left the Democrats have gone and how that's turning centrist voters away from the party.
Not true. In our April 2009 national poll Democrats had a 27 point identification advantage among moderates over the Republicans, 45/18. In our national poll this week that's actually widened slightly to +28, at 50/22.
What has happened over the last year is an erosion in support for Democrats from conservatives. Last April we found 58% of conservatives identifying as Republicans and 21% as Democrats. Now 64% say they're Republicans and 15% Democrats.
As President Obama has aggressively pursued his agenda some folks have exited the Democrats' big tent. But you have to ask yourself the question: if the only way to keep everyone in the party is to not do anything, what's the point of being in charge? The Democratic Party is ideologically diverse, and that means there's going to be some division in the party about most anything. Is the solution to that to do nothing, or do you just forge ahead and accept that the price of progress is losing some voters? Clearly the President has his answer to that question- we'll see about the Democrats in Congress this weekend.