Anne Kim, [“It’s not just hard to be moderate – it’s expensive,” Outlook, May 31], is right to bemoan the ever-higher cost of running for Congress especially in moderate districts. Nevertheless, she omits a likely reason that moderate democrats greatly outspend their liberal counterparts. Nearly all Democrats these days are socially liberal.
They call themselves environmentalists and support abortion rights and gay marriage. But the wealthiest Democrats, like Congressional moderates, are less enthusiastic about redistributive economic policies. Raising top marginal tax rates and “fair trade” as opposed to “free trade” are low on their agenda. Since nearly all campaign cash comes from rich donors, it is not surprising that moderates receive and therefore spend much more than truly progressive Democrats.