May 14, 2010 12:16PM

Fiscally Conservative, Socially Liberal?

Decrying political polarization and "the ideological purification of both parties," the Washington Post notes in an editorial:

The world is complicated, and an electorate so diverse in geography, race, class and beliefs can't be shoehorned into two fixed templates. There is no particular reason why all advocates of fiscal restraint should also oppose abortion rights, or why supporters of a progressive tax code should necessarily favor restrictions on gun ownership.

Indeed. That's a point we've been making since 1981, when we published "An Alternative Analysis of Mass Belief Systems: Liberal, Conservative, Populist, and Libertarian" by Stuart A. Lilie and William S. Maddox. And especially in our studies on the "libertarian vote," in which we make the point that there are millions of voters who don't line up neatly into red-blue, liberal-conservative columns.