Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com has an interesting analysis of the median voter theorem in which he says that being a so-called moderate elected official is only worth a roughly 2 percentage point advantage.
by definition, it's that marginal vote you need to get a majority. But
where do the median congressmember's positions come from? Not
necessarily from the median voter in his or her district. My research
with Jonathan Katz (see the graph above), suggests that being a
moderate is worth about 2% of the vote in a congressional election: it
ain't nuthin, but it certainly is not a paramount concern for most
So while there seems to be a ton of ink spilled lately on the direction of the conservative movement, here we have statistical evidence that moderating our views leads to minimal electoral advantage. Conservative elected officials are better off sticking to their values and leading as a conservative.
As we've seen extensively through our polling, it's not conservative issues that are losing, its conservative candidates — especially ones that do not either run as conservatives, let their opponents stake claims as conservatives, or cannot clearly articulate a conservative message.
This data just proves that the calls for conservatives to moderate — calls coming mostly from the left — are statistically invalid. Better messaging, branding and a cohesive set of values will do much better for conservatives than pandering to a so-called median voter that seems to not exist.