Jul 30, 2018

A possible centrist path for Democrats

Mike Allen, author of AM

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The center-left think tank Third Way Americans is trying to convince potential Democratic presidential candidates that a wide swath of voters prefer policies that promote opportunity, rather than the entitlement of "Sanders-ism."

The big picture: "Voters see an opportunity crisis, and in some ways Trump tapped into that," said Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, Third Way's vice president for social policy and politics. "[I]f Democrats embrace this cause, they can beat Trump."

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Data: Third Way online poll by David Binder Research, June 14-15, among a sample of 1,200 likely 2018 voters. Margin of error ±2.8%. Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The details: You can boil the approaches down to "broadband for all" vs. "Medicare for all."

  • Other examples of Third Way's opportunity agenda include apprenticeship programs, help for small businesses, and regional minimum wage increases.

In polling aimed at helping shape the agenda of 2020 candidates, Third Way found:

  • 46% of voters want the government to focus on polices that expand opportunity to more people and places, while only 26% would prefer a focus on addressing income inequality.
  • Democrats, independents, voters of color, union households, and millennials all prefer expanding opportunity to addressing inequality.

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