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Mon Sep 2, 2019, 01:34 PM

 

Democrats Can't Afford to Leave Moderates Behind - Seib

As Democrats cruise toward their next debate later this month, and consider how far their party should move left along the way, here are some electoral facts to consider. Moderate voters have long been one of the most reliable constituencies for Democrats. Exit polls show that Democratic presidential candidates have won a majority of voters who identify themselves as moderates—as opposed to liberals or conservatives—in every election since 1988. Put differently, Democrats have carried moderate voters in every election since Ronald Reagan left the scene. But just prevailing among moderates isn’t enough. To win nationally, history shows, Democrats need to win them decisively. In every presidential election Democrats won in that time span, they carried moderates by more than a dozen percentage points. In the elections they lost—in 1988, 2000, 2004 and 2016—they failed to carry moderates by such a margin.

(snip)

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has pulled the party left over the past four years, continues to set the pace. He already has proposed free medical care, free college tuition, college debt forgiveness and a $16 trillion climate-change plan. Then, over the weekend, his campaign said he would be unveiling a plan for the federal government to pay off $81 billion in Americans’ past-due medical debt. Not every Democrat is embracing the Sanders agenda, of course. But he isn’t an outlier either; along with former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Sanders stands in the top tier of Democratic candidates.

Meantime, the moderate ranks are thinning. Mr. Biden, who certainly is a moderate by today’s standards, remains the leader of the Democratic pack, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar will join him on the debate stage later this month. But other moderate voices are fading away: Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has left the race to run for the Senate, and Sen. Michael Bennet, Rep. Tim Ryan, former Rep. John Delaney, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock —all of whom argued for a more moderate agenda in the first two Democratic debates—have failed to qualify for the next one. That is just one sign that the primary-season energy is high on the left wing of the party this year. It is a dynamic that has some Democrats worried that the party has simply stopped talking to many of the moderate voters who again could prove critical in the general election.

(snip)

Mr. Zogby worries these traditional Democrats in the heart of the country aren’t hearing from today’s Democratic Party, focused as it is on millennials and coastal enclaves. “People will call them everything,” Mr. Zogby says. “They’re white working-class, moderate, ethnic votes. They’re swing voters, they’re Reagan Democrats.” He adds: “When I speak to them they say we didn’t leave the Democratic Party. They left us. They stopped talking to us.” Mr. Trump, of course, did talk to them in 2016, and attracted enough of them in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to win the White House, even while losing so many votes along the coast that he failed to win the national popular vote. A repeat is entirely possible, even though some of these moderate voters actually have been harmed by Trump trade policies.... One problem for Democrats, he adds, is that the national party’s current culture isn’t geared toward reaching such voters. Indeed, many Democrats think the 2020 election will be won simply by mobilizing the party’s progressive base. History, though, suggests that is a risky proposition.


https://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-cant-afford-to-leave-moderates-behind-11567432578 (paid subscription)

=====

And before someone protest, oh the WSJ, Gerald Seib is a political commentator, not part of the editorial board and I have posted many of his columns here.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Joe Biden

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Reply Democrats Can't Afford to Leave Moderates Behind - Seib (Original post)
question everything Sep 2019 OP
highplainsdem Sep 2019 #1
50 Shades Of Blue Sep 2019 #2
empedocles Sep 2019 #6
50 Shades Of Blue Sep 2019 #7
empedocles Sep 2019 #10
Cha Sep 2019 #22
DownriverDem Sep 2019 #8
50 Shades Of Blue Sep 2019 #13
DownriverDem Sep 2019 #15
Thekaspervote Sep 2019 #23
50 Shades Of Blue Sep 2019 #29
brewens Sep 2019 #27
delisen Sep 2019 #30
qazplm135 Sep 2019 #17
Steven Maurer Sep 2019 #26
Demsrule86 Sep 2019 #35
BeyondGeography Sep 2019 #3
Skya Rhen Sep 2019 #4
DownriverDem Sep 2019 #9
Lucky Luciano Sep 2019 #11
KPN Sep 2019 #14
demmiblue Sep 2019 #5
KPN Sep 2019 #12
Demsrule86 Sep 2019 #36
KPN Sep 2019 #39
wasupaloopa Sep 2019 #16
Sherman A1 Sep 2019 #18
MarcA Sep 2019 #19
elocs Sep 2019 #20
DCofVA Sep 2019 #21
Steven Maurer Sep 2019 #28
Autumn Sep 2019 #24
NurseJackie Sep 2019 #25
OrwellwasRight Sep 2019 #34
Blue_true Sep 2019 #31
BlueWI Sep 2019 #32
Demsrule86 Sep 2019 #37
OrwellwasRight Sep 2019 #33
Bettie Sep 2019 #38
hurl Sep 2019 #40

Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 01:38 PM

1. K&R! Thanks for posting this!

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 01:38 PM

2. He writes like the Blue Wave never happened.

 

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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 01:49 PM

6. The 2018 wave that gave the Dems the House, was an anti-trump wave

 

of trumps districts that voted dem. Those new Dems give us the majority - they are not purist, blue wavers.

The are cautious pragmatists who want to be re-elected - and we desperately need them.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to empedocles (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 01:50 PM

7. Seats were flipped red to blue too.

 

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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 01:58 PM

10. Those red to blue flips are the ones I was talking about. 21, if I remember correctly.

 

All of them, as far as I know, I being careful not to alienate those trump voters who voted blue in 2018
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to empedocles (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 04:26 PM

22. "Nov 7, 2018 - Democrats have flipped at least 40 House seats"

 

Full list: 2018 midterm election seats that flipped

https://www.axios.com/full-list-2018-midterm-election-seats-flipped-34d99826-0929-41c6-a1f0-e4d02861c835.html

They ran mostly on Health Care.. per Nancy's suggestion.
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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 01:55 PM

8. Come on

 

Most voters are not far left. If you overreach, you lose the middle which you need to beat trump. I've seen this happen the the Dems lost big. So the question is, do folks want to beat trump or just push their own agenda which could hurt?
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to DownriverDem (Reply #8)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 02:10 PM

13. What is your definition of "far left"? Someone who supports women's reproductive freedom ?

 

Someone who supports and fights for gun control? Someone who believes in and supports fighting climate change? Someone who fights for workers against corporate abuse and fights for closing the wage gap? Someone who fights for universal health coverage? Etc., etc.

I'm not willing to sacrifice any of those things on the altar of "moderation." Moderates have been used as an excuse too fucking long.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 02:24 PM

15. No

 

Far left is all the freebies candidates talk about. Moderates are not for the freebies when we get no details. It scares them away. You need to concentrate on who can win the Electoral College which is state by state. That's the game. Concentrate on that.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to DownriverDem (Reply #15)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 04:38 PM

23. This!! Nothing is free

 

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primary today, I would vote for:
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Response to DownriverDem (Reply #15)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 09:33 PM

29. This sounds like Republican talk to me.

 

That's how they diminish liberal Democrats.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 09:01 PM

27. If wanting government that works for all the people and not just the 1% makes me far

 

left so be it. I want a liberal candidate that will stop the looting at the top, raise taxes on the rich and narrow the income gap. We also need to get going on a single payer public option and work toward a national universal health care program.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 09:56 PM

30. Exactly. I consider Warren quite moderate

 

and I believe most voters will see her the same way.

Too many of these political analysts want to keep framing our politics with labels which no longer work.

Moderates do not want their lives to be in constant manufactured crises. They do not want their children to be murdered, They want to be able to take advantage of modern medicine without becoming impoverished, they want regulation of big banks. They want big corporations to obey laws. They do not want massive gaps between the income of rich and poor.

The want survival of the planet, they want clean air, clean water, and don't want themselves, their children , and their grandchildren to be poisoned, or plunged into debt in order to obtain an education.

Affordable health insurance is not a revolutionary concept, budgeting on a national level for health care delivering heath care the way many advanced nations do already is not a revolutionary concept. Working together to achieve the well-being of our citizens is not a revolutionary concept.It is what well-organized and well run nations do.

The right of individual citizens to have control over their bodies, and there personal lives is just basic human rights
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 02:52 PM

17. pretty sure the blue wave had moderates in it

 

pretty sure it wasn't just progressives (who make up less than half the party).

Bottom line is you need both progressives and moderates...and both progressives and moderates will have to compromise some and coalesce around whomever the nominee is...whether it's Sanders, Warren through to Biden or another moderate.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 08:58 PM

26. The "Blue Wave" were entirely moderates...

 

Not a single candidate who successfully flipped a GOP seat in 2018 was endorsed by Sanders' "Our Revolution" or AOC's "Justice Democrats".

So I find your statement false.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 3, 2019, 03:50 PM

35. The 40 or so candidates that won the house were moderates...and we will surely lose the house

 

asnd presidential general if we nominate a candidate who can't connect with moderate voters...health care the ACA was the number one issue...and Waren and Sanders are running on MFA...that is a big issue if either are the nominee. Vote blue no matter who... let's kick Trump out!
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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 01:41 PM

3. If it's populism for the working class we're supposedly lacking he isn't listening

 

Moderates are struggling at this level more because they still think reaching out to Republicans is a good idea than their policies. Of all of them, Bennett has the best tone but he’s paying a price for obscurity.
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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 01:43 PM

4. Thanks for the link. I like Amy and am hoping that she and Joe really challenge Warren and Bernie on

 

their policies that are not moderate enough...
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Response to Skya Rhen (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 01:58 PM

9. Me too

 

I don't not believe all the current candidates can beat trump. Why? It's an Electoral College race which is state by state. Most polls we see are national and not state by state.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Skya Rhen (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 02:00 PM

11. Go Milquetoast or go home!

 

Sounds like a good slogan!

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Lucky Luciano (Reply #11)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 02:12 PM

14. +1!

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 01:46 PM

5. I don't care what someone who writes for the WSJ has to say. n/t

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 02:08 PM

12. Any moderate who has a brain is going to vote for any Democrat our party nominates in 2020.

 

This article is just another red herring attempt to frighten Democrats away from reasonable responses to 4+ decades of trickle down run rampant -- pure BS.

Don't fall for the scare mongering folks.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to KPN (Reply #12)

Tue Sep 3, 2019, 03:54 PM

36. They won't if you run a candidate that doesn't appeal to them...the take it or leave it attitude

 

is disturbing...AA voters must vote for whoever mostly white progressives select? And moderate are expected to do the same? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Nominate a candidate who can win, not the purest but perhaps unelectable in the general candidate...I vote blue no matter who but you simply can't count on picking a nominee who only works for one part of the Democratic party...a minority part at thatas the mid terms clearly showed.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #36)

Tue Sep 3, 2019, 05:34 PM

39. Take it or leave it attitude? Hey man, it works both ways.

 

That’s a non-starter if you’re trying to convince me or many of those who aren’t particularly thrilled with an almost octogenarian who has been a top tier player within the party the past 40+ years.

I will vote for whoever becomes our ultimate candidate in the GE, but i’m sure as hell not going to vote for someone in the primary just because he’s familiar, a nice guy, or has a plurality in the primary polls.

I’m pretty done with center, moderate or whatever you want to call it regarding D candidates. In the 70s I thought of myself as center left because that’s where my views aligned. My views haven’t changed since then, but today i’m almost a communist to some and definitely a “socialist” according to my sense of some Ds here at DU.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 02:43 PM

16. "How do you like free health care boys and girls?" "How would you like free tuition boys and girls?"

 

“How do you like my paying off college debt boys and girls?”

“Hey Bernie how much does it cost and how do pay for it?”

“How would you like free health care boys and girls?”

“Hey Bernie what is the plan to do these things?”

“How do you like free health care boys and girls?”
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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 03:32 PM

18. Yawn

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 03:49 PM

19. Just more anti-Progressive propaganda from the $$$ establishment.

 

Still pandering worn out false memes like the "Democrats left us", "far left", "coastal elites" and "free stuff". A risky proposition to put prime concern on mobilizing your base? How about all the Democratic loses when the DNC/DLC was pushing centrist purity? Detailed proposals have been made and getting those out to the voters should be the main concern, not giving weight to anti-progressive pandering.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Joe Biden

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 04:14 PM

20. None of us on the Left can afford to write off anyone in our big tent.

 

Or at least our tent should be big. On our end of the political spectrum nobody can expect to get everything their way but be prepared to concede points to others who may have voted for Democratic candidates for decades.
We need to stop the put-downs of good Democrats as being DINOs or Republican Lite just because they are not Liberal enough for us.
If we do not stand together we will fail, and the stakes are far too high for that.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 04:20 PM

21. Bernie has helped to pull the Party to the left but...

 

He didn’t pull the people to the left. We have been here waiting for our representatives to get with us. And, there are a whole lot of us, and we’re growing.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to DCofVA (Reply #21)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 09:01 PM

28. In my experience, the people aren't "left"

 

Which is why the hard left always fails to oust Republicans from office.

Left in position but not in anger seems more likely to work.

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Joe Biden

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 05:04 PM

24. Doesn't that kind of work both ways? Can Democrats afford to leave progressives behind?

 

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Undecided

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Response to Autumn (Reply #24)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 08:53 PM

25. Volume doesn't always mean loudness...

 

... sometimes it also means quantity. Elections are won with votes, not the loudest voters.

All I'm saying is that it doesn't make sense to spend extraordinary efforts going after a handful of voters, when half the time and effort can be used to convince thousands more voters to support Democrats.
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Response to Autumn (Reply #24)

Tue Sep 3, 2019, 12:31 AM

34. +1

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 10:39 PM

31. Senator Warren HAS been talking to those people.

 

She is going to many small towns that most people don't know exists. That is why I believe she will be our nominee, she is Obama-like in that regard.
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Response to Blue_true (Reply #31)

Mon Sep 2, 2019, 10:48 PM

32. Exactly.

 

The state of Iowa isn't Berkeley or Portland, and Warren's winning.

No bloc of Democrats should be written off. Not progressives, not moderates. Respect all sides and earn their votes. Too much fear and re-fighting campaigns of yesteryear is a bigger risk.

The point is, run a stellar campaign and win the election! Labels are going to be alleged all the time and dirty tricks and voter suppression are inevitable. Organize, hone your message, and win!
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Response to Blue_true (Reply #31)

Tue Sep 3, 2019, 03:56 PM

37. She will not win in the rust belt...her policies are not popular.

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
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Joe Biden

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2019, 12:30 AM

33. He is confusing working class white with moderate.

 

They are not the same thing. He is exactly right that

“When I speak to them they say we didn’t leave the Democratic Party. They left us. They stopped talking to us.”


But, ahem, that's the thesis of What's the Matter with Kansas, the brilliant 2004 book by Thomas Frank that is as true today as it was then, and it exactly explains why some the industrial Midwest voted Trump. Yes, we all know that racism and misogyny and voter suppression and Clinton's campaign mistakes and Facebook propaganda produced by Russian troll farms and etc. all played a role in the 2016 debacle -- but so did the fact that Trump was able to persuade a not insignificant number of people who voted for Obama to also vote for him. And he did this by pretending to hear and understand and have plans to address their wage stagnation, their job insecurity, the hollowed out manufacturing base in their home towns and the clear lack of a reliable path to the middle class even after 8 years of solid growth. A solution to all of that will not be found by aiming for the mythical center voter and doubling down on neoliberalism. These voters want to hear plans for change, not plans for a return to the Obama years that for better or worse, left many behind (especially if you did not live on the coasts or in thriving big cities -- and even there you have an affordable housing crisis and homeless college students).

Since the great recession, only the top 30% has recovered their wealth loss (and then some!). That means 70% of us are still worse off than we were when the recession hit in 2007. Great chart available here: https://www.apnews.com/df1ca4016d27405791c10eb5772c06a4

And it is not just wealth, it is also income. The top 1% are hogging up most of the incomes gains. Again, a super chart is available here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/07/opinion/leonhardt-income-inequality.html?module=inline (scroll down to the second chart to see it in motion).

People feel this lack of fairness, they feel this insecurity, they see and feel that most of the best opportunities are out of reach unless they are already in the top half of the income scale. They are looking for bold, progressive economic proposals, not more middle of the road "rising tides lift all boats" bullshit.

My two cents.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2019, 04:05 PM

38. Why is it that in all of these articles

 

there is a demand that the Left move toward this perceived center but Moderates are never asked to move a single inch toward the Left?

Is it the assumption that the Left doesn't matter at all; that we need to suck it up and embrace the status quo because we have nowhere else to go?

If we have a candidate who is not as "moderate" as some people want, will that make them embrace Trump and his open criminality?

Is it a simple reluctance to change?

Hope that if our side is as mild as possible that the other side will be nice?
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Response to Bettie (Reply #38)

Tue Sep 3, 2019, 05:58 PM

40. +1

 

So true... Meanwhile the GOP pushes the Overton Window farther and farther rightward.
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