To succeed with the most decisive group of swing voters Republicans should stop treating “moderate” as a dirty word. Since modern exit polling began in 1976, self-described moderates have comprised the biggest portion of the electorate every time; conservatives have never amounted to more than 35 percent. Republicans therefore can’t win without moderate support.
It’s also worth noting that the adjective, “moderate” carries positive connotations. Dictionary synonyms include: reasonable, temperate, judicious, steady, calm, pleasant, considered, controlled, sober, considerate, peaceable and untroubled. Antonyms—meaning the opposite of moderate—are: biased, harsh, imbalanced, incautious, extreme, intolerable, loud, prejudiced, rough, unbearable, violent, wild, agitated, excited, excessive, extravagant, outrageous and unreasonable.
Moderation is considered a good thing in most areas of life—what you eat or drink, how you handle your money, the way you settle disputes or manage your moods.
It’s unreasonable to view moderation in politics as some sort of failing.
In fact, moderates are an essential part of any formula for winning.