There is a good reason for the time-tested presidential election strategy of candidates taking relatively progressive or conservative positions during the primaries, and then moving to the center for the general election. It’s because the way to win an election is to appeal to the median voter. In a partisan primary, that median voter is relatively ideological. But in a general election, the median voter is centrist.
This is the median voter theorem, and it plays a key role in understanding how politicians behave during election season. It explains why the two parties can be so hard to tell apart — they’re chasing after the same voter. Utah State University economics professor Diana Thomas ably explains the median voter in this short Learn Liberty video (click here if the embed doesn’t work):