WASHINGTON — Progressive leaders today released a new report showing that, on most issues, across the nation moderates line up with liberals, not conservatives.

Rock the Vote executive director Heather Smith and Women’ Voices, Women’s Votes president Page Gardner joined Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage and Media Matters for America president Eric Burns at a news conference here to discuss the report produced by Media Matters.

They are among the organizers of next week’s “America’s Future Now” conference, the annual progressive gathering formerly called the “Take Back America” conference.

The report should energize the conference, which is expected to attract 3,000 leaders and activists to the Omni Shoreham Hotel here June 1-3.

The report shows, the leaders said, that around the country conservatives are isolated, majorities of Americans now hold progressive positions on a broad range of issues, and key constituencies that favor progressive positions are growing larger.

“From the moment Obama won the election the mainstream media was busy trying to convince people that this was still a center-right country,” Burns told reporters. Commentators on both NBC and CNN were warning on Election Night that it would be a mistake to interpret the Obama election as a shift in a more progressive direction, he noted. Since the election, he said, the major media have remained to the right of the American people.

It is a mistake to classify people exactly the way they “self-identify,” Burns said. People who support national health care and tougher regulations on big business may still call themselves “conservative” or “moderate,” but they are actually supporting progressive positions, he said. “They are rejecting the old conservative line that the enemy is big government and they are accepting the progressive position that government has the responsibility to proactively intervene on behalf of the people.”

Gardner said that “when you total the voters under the age of 30 with voters who are single women, African American and Latino, you already have 47 percent of the electorate. This group is growing and it voted overwhelmingly for Obama.”

Smith said the youth vote in 2008 was the largest in U.S. history and it too is “overwhelmingly progressive.”

Borosage said that progressives gathering at the convention in the nation’s capital next week will be emphasizing the need to push on a wide range of issues, including health care reform, rebuilding the economy, the right of workers to form unions, investment in public education and immigration reform.

jwojcik @ pww.org

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