At this early stage in the 2008 presidential campaign, more Americans express a preference for voting for a moderate candidate — particularly a moderate Democrat — than a candidate from the left or the right. Overall, a new Pew poll finds, nearly half (48%) would vote for a moderate from either party while about a third (32%) say they most want to vote for a moderate Democrat. More than twice as many Democrats prefer to vote for a party moderate rather than a liberal (by 59% to 28%), while Republicans are evenly split between backing a conservative or moderate Republican (40% each). Nearly half of independents (45%) say they most want to vote for a moderate — either a Democrat (28%) or a Republican (17%). Yet independents also are leaning heavily Democratic in their 2008 choices — by 44%-29%, more independents say they want to vote for a Democrat (either moderate or liberal) than a Republican. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.