There are many interesting things about the “Center of American Politics” poll recently released by Esquire magazine and NBC News but let’s start with the obvious: Esquire magazine commissioned a poll about political attitudes.
And then they put the results up on their website.
From where Team Spot-On sits, that should be enough to make your average political insider think maybe something has changed about media, interest in politics and well, the world in which it all resides.
With its regular “Women We Love” feature Esquire is not to be confused with The New Republic, The Weekly Standard or The Hill – usual fodder for folks who care about moving voters. In the old days – you know, before the Internet – it was a monthly magazine. Lately, like so much else, that’s changed. And the poll and its release – not to mention the word-of-mouth about it – is an event to note.
But, as they say on late night television – or did, before the Internet – that’s not all.
The Esquire/NBC poll hints at something that’s been brewing for a while: Party affiliated-politics is not the game it once was. Most of the people surveyed in this effort – a majority – say they are moderate. Many of them hold opinions that cross party lines on hot-button issues like immigration, gun control and abortion.
Now, there are lot of lively conference panel discussions to be held in regard to the definition of the adjectives that might be applied here. After all, what – exactly - does a “moderate” or “independent” or “undecided” or “persuadable” voter look like? We don’t know. And, as the Esquire folks point out, many political professionals don’t either.
But there’s one comment we would make: The four categories listed above are voters who are not likely to be swayed by scary TV ads, oppo-drive mail pieces or, well, the usual tactics. Increasingly, voters are using online resources to fact-check claims made on television. Pew puts the number of persuable voters engaged in this activity as more than 50%.
Or as the Esquire analyst put it “In political terms, these Americans are up for grabs, but you’ve got to be substantive, and you better leave your party’s hobby horses back at headquarters.” The times, they are a-changing.