The land that Republicans forgot

Even Republicans in this part of the country are more moderate. Of the 18 U.S. senators in these states, only four were Republican in February when three of them broke ranks and gave Obama the votes he needed to pass the stimulus bill. And one of them, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, has since defected to the Democrats.

That’s because the entire region is awash in moderates, and Republicans are losing ground with them. According to a report on Monday by Gallup, Republican support among moderates fell by 9 percent from 2001 to 2009.

Are the Republicans softening some positions to reverse the trend? Of course not. As a Gallup report on Wednesday noted: “Most of the uptick in support for conservative positions over the past year is the result of Republicans (including independents who lean Republican) moving to the political right in their views.”