October 12, 2012

ANOTHER MEDIA NARRATIVE BITES THE DUST: “Tack to Center” Not Key to Romney’s Post-Debate Surge.

Following Romney’s strong debate performance last week, political analysts have been working overtime trying to explain his boost in the polls. What did Romney say or do to pull voters away from the President? The popular theory is that Romney successfully tacked to the center, winning over moderate voters leery of his more conservative positions.

But one chart from The Monkey Cage (h/t Matt Yglesias) suggests a simpler explanation. According to a number of recent YouGov surveys, voters have consistently rated themselves as ideologically closer to Romney than Obama—even in the months when Obama was leading the polls. . . . Romney didn’t shift ideologically; he passed a threshold test.

I think that’s right.

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