Giuliani, McCain Closest to Voters
A new Pew Research Center study shows how Americans view the major candidates for the presidency in ideological terms:
Here are the actual numbers:
The black dots represent the self-identified ideology of each sample. Thus, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain have to be pleased by the results.
Matt Yglesias correctly notes that it’s “bad news for liberals” that “the self-assessed ideology of the American people is still somewhat right of center.” But it’s worse than that: All of the Republican candidates are considerably closer to the average voter (in the perception of said average voter, at least) than is Hillary Clinton.
Further, while Matt’s right that Republican voters view Clinton and Obama as much further to the left than does the average voter, Democratic voters view all the Republicans — even Huckabee — as only moderately conservative. And even Democrats rate Obama as “liberal.”
To be sure, the current head-to-head polls show any plausible Democrat beating any plausible Republican except John McCain, so there’s plenty of reason for Democrats to be optimistic. But the fact that American voters are ideologically closer to the Republicans almost always gives the GOP a fighting chance.