05/22/2009 - Barack Obama's presidency has ushered in an era of centrism, with independent voters now making up the largest proportion of the electorate in 70 years.
This fickle group doesn't have uniform opinions, so its dominance carries potential risks for emboldened Democrats and opportunities for Republicans.
A new Pew Research Center survey that contains those conclusions also found that the nation's values haven't fundamentally changed. The country hasn't become more ideologically liberal or conservative, despite sweeping Democratic victories at all levels of government last fall and shrinking GOP ranks.
Broadly, the findings indicate it's politically dangerous for the president and his fellow Democrats, who control Congress, to move too far to the left on domestic and foreign issues, lest they turn off middle-of-the-road voters whose support was critical in 2008 - and which will be important in upcoming elections.
Read the full article Survey Paints a Picture of US as a Centrist Nation on the Boston Globe's Web site.