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Triangulation is a process in politics whereby a candidate tries to juggle their position(s) on issues so as to be located between all perspectives on it.
This would describe a "moderate" position, except in this case the candidate has cobbled it together from focus groups and other means of "testing the water," rather than coming to think their position is logical and valid.
It can involve a lot of what is now called "flip-flopping" or "U-turns" on issues, as a candidate travels down the road of their career, and even in the course of a single election.
- Hillary Clinton – learned it from Bill in pillow talk sessions
- Mitt Romney – It's a torturous path from Utah to governing Massachusetts to running in the Southern Baptist primaries!
- Rand Paul - Has zigged and zagged so many times it makes...
- John Kerry not look like a flip-flopper at all!
- Donald Trump - Trump maintained high favorables while he was still a blank slate. Many who didn't predict the arrival of post-truth thought that would change over the course of a general election with him as the nominee, when he became strongly identified with "Team Red" or "Team Blue". Back then, he was relying on tribalism and hyperbole to distance himself from the GOP. Now he implements that same hyperbolic, tribalistic policy in office.
- Often a candidate must run to the extreme fringe that turns out for party caucuses or primaries, and then head back towards the "center" for the general election. A sure fire tactic, until recently.