Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has based his potential 2020 candidacy on the idea that the Democrats and Republicans have drifted too far to the left and right for most Americans. He believes that the American people crave centrism, and that independents will vote for someone who represents neither of those parties.
Of course, Schultz is wrong. According to a new survey by HuffPost and YouGov, only 11 percent of Americans believe that both parties have become too extreme. A far greater number believe that one of the two parties is too extreme, which makes sense in our highly polarized political climate.
Overall, Americans say, 50 percent to 33 percent, that President Donald Trumpis too extreme. They say the same of the Democratic Party, 42 percent to 34 percent, and of the Republican Party, 40 percent to 36 percent. [...]
Just 11 percent of Americans, the poll finds, call both Democrats and the GOP too extreme. Of the rest, a 53 percent majority finds only one party to be too extreme (for 28 percent, just the Democrats, and for 25 percent just the Republicans), and another 7 percent say that neither party is outside bounds. The remainder isn’t sure about one or both parties.
These numbers line up with other similar studies and point to what should be an obvious truth: Though a large number of Americans identify as independents, that doesn’t mean they’re centrists. A Gallop survey from last month found that the number of “true” independents, who are ideologically between the two parties, is about 12 percent.
That ain’t enough to win a presidential election.