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Why House Moderates are an Endangered Species Why House Moderates are an Endangered Species

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Politics

Why House Moderates are an Endangered Species

October 3, 2012
Those aren't the schedules of candidates aiming their efforts at the median voter of a split district. Plenty of House candidates are running as moderate members of their parties this year, but it's mostly happening in deep red or blue congressional districts. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., is a good example; he's been touting his values, religion and conservatism so aggressively that a Republican operative recently joked that McIntyre should run for chairman of the Republican Study Committee if he's reelected to Congress. John McCain won McIntyre's district with over 57 percent in 2008. In another strong McCain district, Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, reeled off a list of issues he and Mitt Romney agree on at a debate earlier this week. But in more evenly split districts like West's, most candidates appear to be hewing to the party line. To cite one more example, Republican Tony Strickland and Democrat Julia Brownley diverged on nearly every issue in a California 26th District debate last night, though Strickland disavowed elements of the Ryan budget. A lot of moderates from moderate districts lost in the last three cycles, and it's possible candidates have just decided it's not worth it anymore.
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