Ripon Forum editor Lou Zickar says despite the Tea Party hype, moderation is the key to the Republican Party’s success.

The Ripon Society is a historically centrist Republican organization, and Zickar argues on their behalf in a Politico opinion piece:

By the end of this year, for example, the three biggest 2010 races for the GOP may be won by centrist Republicans.

One victory has already occurred — in Massachusetts, where centrist Scott Brown defeated liberal Martha Coakley to win the Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy since 1962.

The other two races are for the Senate seats up for grabs in Illinois and Delaware. Republicans are calling these “trophy” races. It is easy to understand why — the seats were once held by Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

In both these races, the Republican candidates are centrists.

Rep. Mark Kirk in Illinois is a leader of the moderate Tuesday Group in the House. Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware, a former governor, is a leading centrist and a member of The Ripon Society’s Honorary Congressional Advisory Board.

If both Kirk and Castle win — as they are now favored to — it can be viewed as a big win for the GOP. It can also be viewed as a victory for centrist Republicans.

But it may not be the only centrist win. From Meg Whitman in California to Jane Norton in Colorado to Linda McMahon in Connecticut, centrist Republicans stand poised not only to win on election night but also to pick up Senate seats held by Democrats.

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Does this mean the country is entering a new age of Rockefeller Republicanism? Of course not.

But the country may be entering a period in which — even amid all the anger and rage — the importance of centrist, solution-oriented Republicans is again recognized.

Pair that with this post from Public Policy Polling, and it seems that the best hope for either party in November could be with centrists and moderates.

It’s just another data point showing that Democratic troubles this year are not the result of them losing the center, but of conservative voters being more motivated to turn out. In places like Kentucky and Missouri, where the GOP will be slightly favored to win this fall, Robin Carnahan and Jack Conway lead their respective Republican opponents by 40 points with moderates. Democratic candidates also have 20+ point leads with moderates in places like North Carolina, Colorado, and Ohio.

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