Shaky convergence

David Broder:

The Democrats have convinced most of the journalists covering their convention here that their party has eliminated most of its internal differences. That is true, unless you count the gap between the party's head and its heart.


It shows in startling clarity when you ask: What do Democrats really believe? The answer for the activist heart of the party is suggested by a Boston Globe poll of a cross section of 400 delegates. As the Globe reported, 80 percent of them say they opposed the decision to start the war in Iraq and 95 percent oppose it now. Unlike Kerry, 62 percent support gay and lesbian marriage. Almost nine out of 10 describe themselves as supporters of gun control.

Similar surveys at earlier Democratic conventions have confirmed that the activists -- the people who have done enough work in their communities and states to claim a delegate badge as their reward -- are not only to the left of the American public but more liberal than the candidates who win nominations in primaries representative of a broader swath of Democratic supporters.


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