The middle is not the home of bland, split-the-difference politics, or a cult that worships bipartisan process for its own sake. Swing voters have views; they are just not views that all come from any one party’s menu. Researchers at Third Way, a Clintonian think tank, have assembled a pretty plausible composite profile of these up-for-grabs voters.
¶Swing voters tend to be fiscal conservatives, meaning they are profoundly worried about deficits and debt.
¶They are mostly economic moderates, meaning they are free-marketers but expect government to help provide the physical and intellectual infrastructure that creates opportunity.
¶They are aspirational — that is, they have nothing against the rich — but they don’t oppose tax increases.
¶They want the country well protected, but not throwing its weight around in the world.
¶They tend to be fairly progressive on social issues; they think, for example, that abortion should be discouraged but not prohibited.