A political moderate is a person in the center category of the left–right political spectrum.


Aristotle favoured conciliatory politics dominated by the centre rather than the extremes of great wealth and poverty or the special interests of oligarchs and tyrants.[1]

Political position

In recent years, the term "political moderates" has gained traction as a buzzword. The existence of the ideal moderate is disputed because of a lack of a moderate political ideology. Voters who describe themselves as centrist often mean that they are moderate in their political views, advocating neither extreme left-wing politics nor extreme right-wing politics.

Gallup polling has shown American voters identifying themselves as moderate between 35–38% of the time over the last 20 years.[2] Voters may identify with moderation for a number of reasons: pragmatic, ideological or otherwise. It has even been suggested that individuals vote for centrist parties for purely statistical reasons.[3]

Religious position

In religion, the moderate position is centered and opposed to liberalism or conservatism.[4]

For Christianity, moderates in evangelicalism would oppose the ideas of Christian right and Christian fundamentalism, against same-sex marriage but oppose discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as liberal Christians oppose the idea of Christian left. For Islam, moderates oppose the extreme views of Islamic extremism and Islamic fundamentalism.

See also


  1. Aristotle, Sir Ernest Barker, R. F. Stalley (1998), Politics, Oxford University Press, p. xxv, ISBN 978-0-19-283393-8CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. Saad, Lydia (January 12, 2012). "Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S." Gallup. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  3. Enelow and Hinich (1984). "Probabilistic Voting and the Importance of Centrist Ideologies in Democratic elections". The Journal of Politics. Southern Political Science Association. 46 (2): 459–478. doi:10.2307/2130970. JSTOR 2130970.
  4. Peter Clarke, The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, Oxford University Press, UK, 2011, p. 512
  • Calhoon, Robert McCluer (2008), Ideology and social psychology: extremism, moderation, and contradiction, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-73416-5
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