Monday, April 25, 2005

''Internet, Polarized Politics Create an Opening for a Third Party''

"Somebody could come along and raise $200 million and have 600,000 people on the streets working for them without any party structure in the blink of an eye," he (Trippi) says. It might not be quite that simple. But the two parties are pursuing strategies that create an opening in the center of the electorate, even as the Internet makes it easier for a new competitor to fill it. Influenced partly by Ross Perot's strong showing in the 1992 presidential race, Clinton argued that capturing the middle was the key to electoral success. After an initial lurch left, Clinton doggedly pursued centrist voters by breaking from liberal orthodoxy on welfare, trade, a balanced budget and other issues. President Bush, by contrast, has been much more willing to risk alienating voters in the center to advance ideas that energize his base. Exit polls showed that Bush lost moderate and independent voters in November's election. But he won reelection largely by vastly increasing turnout among Republicans and conservatives. More and more Democrats see their future in Bush's model, not Clinton's."-from Ron Brownstein's column in the LA Times today.

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