If the GOP can't figure out how to use this, it is truly pathetic. But what would work better — defining and promoting the conservative brand or signaling moderation? Looking at the last election, I'd say: Be forthrightly conservative. Tell us what it is and stand by it. You only need to win over less than a third of the moderates: Convince us it's better to trust conservatives than liberals. The Obama administration and Congress are giving you so much material to work that theme.
Even divided by gender,"liberal" comes in last:
Oh, but we women do have that urge toward moderation — toward fence-straddling and splitting the difference that makes you men think we lack intellectual development.
Let me call your attention to my old "How McCain Lost Me" post. I analyzed what tipped me toward Obama, and one of my 4 reasons was: "[McCain] never defined himself as a principled conservative." Think about it.