TODAY   |  October 15, 2013

New poll shows more voters moving to the middle

NBC News political director Chuck Todd tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer that a new poll conducted by NBC News and Esquire shows an increase in Americans who don’t align themselves along party lines and fall somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> when we talk about political fights in this country we often talk about the political center and the common wisdom has been that there is 40% on the right, 40% on the left. 20% somewhere in the middle.

>> somewhere in the middle.

>> maybe they're wishy washy about things. we did a survey and it's startling what it found.

>> it is. a majority of the country is in the middle. 51% is in the middle. the wings, the dominant part in washington is in between the 25 yard lines. but the vast majority of the country, a majority of the country is in between the 25 yard lines.

>> when you look at these people in the 51%.

>> i wouldn't call them independents.

>> this is the center and they're not wishy washy on politics. they have strong views.

>> it's just that some of them are supposedly liberal and some of them are supposedly conservative. this is people that live their every day lives and look at politics through their own lives. they don't look at it with a blue jersey or red jersey .

>> let's see some of the things they believe in. where do they stand? all right. on the issue of government legislating how people behave in their personal lives, guns, abortion, marriage, marijuana, look what they say.

>> large majorities are pro marijuana, pro- gay marriage . they're like get out of my life. don't tell me what to do.

>> how should the u.s. handle itself in terms of foreign affairs .

>> this is where you see the war weariness. this is folks that are basically saying we don't need to be patrolling the world. they're for defense cuts. again, this is a majority of the country and amajority of the middle.

>> a majority want taxes raised on people that earn more than $1 million a year.

>> but they're antiregulation. they don't want government in the way of oil drilling and things like that. while their economic pop yulous on this stuff they're against it. whether it's on marriage or college admissions .