William Galston, writing in TNR, describes a very interesting Pew survey:
In mid-2005, as disaffection with the Bush administration and the Republican Party was gathering momentum, the Pew Research Center asked American to place themselves and the political parties on a standard left-right ideological continuum. At that time, average voters saw themselves as just right of center and equidistant from the two political parties. Independents considered themselves twice as far away from the Republican Party as from the Democrats, presaging their sharp shift toward the Democrats in the 2006 mid-term election.
In August of this year, Pew posed a very similar question (note to survey wonks: Pew used a five-point scale, versus six in 2005), but the results were very different. Although average voters continue to see themselves as just right of center, they now place themselves twice as far away from the Democratic Party as from the Republicans. In addition, Independents now see themselves as significantly closer to the Republican Party, reversing their perceptions of six years ago.
That bodes well for the Reps, but let's get to the wet fish and the self-awareness crisis of the left:
There’s another difference as well. In 2005, Republicans’ and Democrats’ views of their own parties dovetailed with the perceptions of the electorate as a whole. Today, while voters as a whole agree with Republicans’ evaluation of their party as conservative, they disagree with Democrats, who on average see their party as moderate rather than liberal. So when Independents, who see themselves as modestly right of center, say that Democrats are too liberal, average Democrats can’t imagine what they’re talking about.
Well, that provides a hint as to why libs don't think the media has a leftward tilt. Anyway, what's the first step in AA? I foresee a new "Progressives Anonymous" program where people stand up in meetings and introduce themselves with "I am Bill, I am a progressive, and I am so far from the political mainstream I can't even feel the river." Fellow attendees can then exchange bon mots from The Daily Kos and reminisce about the dark days under evil, intrusive BushCo (were you on a no-fly list too?).