The American Public: Still Reaganesque

The Washington Times reports on a new Rasmussen survey that reinforces the idea that Republicans shouldn’t give up on 2008. Rasmussen tested five descriptions of a Presidential candidate; the one that came out on top, with a 44% positive rating, was “like Reagan.”

Most Republicans have been pretty confident that last year’s election wasn’t a repudiation of conservatism. This is borne out by the fact that “conservative” outpolls “liberal” by 32% to 20%. In some polls over the years, of course, the disparity has been even wider. But “progressive” scored 35%, which can only mean that many Americans haven’t figured out yet that “progressive” means “even more liberal than they used to be.” No doubt some still associate it with Teddy Roosevelt.

“Moderate” polled only 29%, which suggests that most Americans want a Presidential candidate to stand for something, as long as it isn’t liberalism. But what people really want, apparently, is another Reagan. And they’re much more likely to see a Republican in that role than a Democrat.

SCOTT adds: For a more pessimistic assessment of the electorate, see John Podhoretz’s New York Post column “The liberal edge.”

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