Tags: 2020 Elections | Donald Trump | Joe Biden | voters | center | susancollins

A Fight for Voters in the Center

susan collins sitting in the senate subway
Sen. Susan Collins, a centrist Republican from Maine, is facing a tough re-election bid. But the choice for centrists for president shouldn't be so difficult. (Getty)

By Tuesday, 27 October 2020 11:07 AM Current | Bio | Archive

One of the most contentious, and consequential, races on the fall election card is taking place in the fiercely independent State of Maine, where the most bipartisan member of the United States Senate, Susan Collins, is squaring off against a thoroughly partisan Democrat, Sara Gideon.

Once you get through, and over, the white noise of tens of millions of dollars worth of negative ads, negative mailers, and negative social media, it's clear this is a good 'ol fashioned showdown between the center and the left, with a winner-take-all prize that could flip control of the U.S. Senate.

You'd think this would be one place where the liberal media might draw a distinction, that Collins' moderate stripe and unimpeachable independence would be enough for them to make an exception to their 24/7 crusade to take on, and take out, the president, and anyone who supports anything he does.

They don't, and they won't.

While Mainers might be turning their back on this quintessential centrist, it doesn't change the fact that Americans in the middle — tens of millions of them — will determine who wins the presidency. They always do. And this is where, ideologically, Republicans/conservatives have a clear edge over their counterparts.

The Wall Street Journal wrote about a New Center survey out last December that concluded 43% of voters identify themselves in the center, versus 34% on the right and 23% on the left. Put another way, 77% of voters across the nation are center/right.

More tellingly, among independents, the study revealed that 60% identify with the middle, and another 22% with the conservative right. Their combined center/right score: 82%. Gallup reinforced the reality of America's center/right majority, reporting similar results a month later.

In 2020, where a resurgent liberal left is taking on a consistently conservative right, these swing voters are up for grabs. And everyone wants them, including the two combatants left in the race for president.

So how do both rate among that center/right majority? Consider four key issues:

1. Foreign policy/defense. Biden, representing a party that traditionally advocates military budget cuts, and who wants to play kumbaya with leaders around the world, has never stood up to those (like China) who've misled, manipulated, and lied to us. Never, including his eight years as vice president.

Trump is the first American president to stand up to China, meet with toughies (like North Korea's Kim un-Krazy) to lessen their thirst for world demolition, and score two Nobel Peace Prize nominations along the way.

2. Law and order. The challenger was late to the dance in addressing the looting, burning and lawlessness in America's cities, fearing he'd alienate part of his liberal base. The incumbent had another idea: We're backing the police to keep the peace. Predictably, Trump has earned endorsements from law enforcement groups across the land.

3. The "T word": taxes. Joe Biden has called for rescinding Trump's tax cuts on individuals and businesses, while advocating new spending projected to cost taxpayers trillions. His plan to soak the rich won't raise enough money to cover this bill. Who's picking up the rest of the tab? Trump would answer: "the rest of us."

4. Immigration. While we are a nation of immigrants, we're also a nation of laws and borders. Biden, in trying to prove his opponent is some xenophobe, has consistently supported a more open border and sanctuary cities. The president opposes both.

The final tally on this centrist-sensitive scorecard: Trump 4. Biden 0.

As we close in on Election Day (which might become "election month"), the liberal media is out to assure the moderate center that the conservative right is no good.

In a center/right nation like America, that's going to be a very tough sell.

Adam Goodman is a national Republican media strategist and columnist. He is a partner at Ballard Partners in Washington D.C. He is also the first Edward R. Murrow Senior Fellow at Tufts University's Fletcher School. Follow him on Twitter @adamgoodman3Read Adam Goodman's Reports — More Here.

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In 2020, where a resurgent liberal left is taking on a consistently conservative right, these swing voters are up for grabs. And everyone wants them, including the two combatants left in the race for president.
voters, center, susancollins
Tuesday, 27 October 2020 11:07 AM
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