“The last four presidents — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — are four very different politicians. But they have one crucial similarity: They all tried to appeal to voters who weren’t obvious supporters.
Clinton promised a “third way,” distinct from traditional Democratic or Republican policies. Bush ran on compassionate conservatism. Obama said that red and blue America shared more in common than pundits claimed.
Even Trump, radical as he is, flouted Republican orthodoxy by sounding like a populist Democrat on Social Security, Medicare and trade. Polls showed that voters judged Trump to be more moderate than any Republican nominee since the 1970s.
The art of peeling off voters — those in the middle or those who aren’t ideological — may be the most important skill in politics. It doesn’t require a mushy centrist policy agenda, either. Trump has made that clear. So, in earlier eras, did Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt.”