In politics, centrism, moderate or the centre describes a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy or social inequality; whilst opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society either strongly to the left or the right. Centre left and centre right politics both involve a general association with centrism combined while leaning somewhat to their respective sides of the spectrum.
The existence of the ideal moderate is disputed because of a lack of a moderate political ideology. Many people claim to be moderate because of a lack of adherence with the more radical sides of the political or religious spectrum, rather than advocating a specific stance.
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. 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.