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In politics and religion, a moderate is an individual who is not extreme, partisan, nor radical.[1]


Aristotle favoured conciliatory politics dominated by the centre rather than the extremes of great wealth and poverty or the special interests of oligarchs and tyrants.[2]

Political position[edit]

In recent years, the term political moderates has gained traction as a buzzword, the existence of the ideal moderate is disputed because of a lack of a moderate political ideology. Voters who describe themselves as centrist often mean that they are moderate in their political views, advocating neither extreme left-wing politics nor right-wing politics. Gallup polling has shown American voters identifying themselves as moderate between 35–38% of the time over the last 20 years.[3] Voters may identify with moderation for a number of reasons: pragmatic, ideological or otherwise, it has even been suggested that individuals vote for ‘centrist’ parties for purely statistical reasons.[4]

Religious position[edit]

In religion, the moderate position is centered and opposed to liberalism or conservatism.[5][full citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary 
  2. ^ Aristotle, Sir Ernest Barker, R. F. Stalley (1998), Politics, Oxford University Press, p. xxv, ISBN 978-0-19-283393-8 
  3. ^ Saad, Lydia (January 12, 2012). "Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S.". Gallup. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Enelow and Hinich (1984). "Probabilistic Voting and the Importance of Centrist Ideologies in Democratic elections". The Journal of Politics. Southern Political Science Association. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Peter Clarke, The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, Oxford University Press, UK, 2011, p. 512
  • Calhoon, Robert McCluer (2008), Ideology and social psychology: extremism, moderation, and contradiction, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-73416-5