Third Way is a centrist think tank labeled “The best source for new ideas in public policy.”

-The Washington Post

Working with the White House, Congress, experts and advocates, we offer fresh thinking on America’s toughest problems. We’ve been dubbed: “incorrigible pragmatists,” -The New York Times “radical centrists,” -The New York Times and “the future of think tanks.” -Reuters

Our Work

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Our Impact

Case Study

Marriage For Gay Couples

By 2008, the passage of Proposition 8 banning marriage for gay couples in California had left advocates with an 0-for-30 record. We conducted deep public opinion research which revealed a serious strategic flaw: the focus on the rights and benefits of marriage was driving away Americans in the middle. To sway these critical voters, we advised advocates to emphasize instead the common value that all couples share around marriage: lifetime commitment. Our approach was widely adopted, and as a result, in part, the tide has turned. Marriage went 4 for 4 at the ballot box in 2012, and political leaders from President Obama on down have used the “commitment” message. Read full case study...

Case Study

Climate Change

Over the last seven years, the climate debate has become rigidly ideological. Third Way rejects both sides’ orthodoxies and has developed a long-term strategy to fight climate pollution. We built a web-based tool that provides more than 100 ideas for smart, discreet clean energy policies that span the economy. Already, more than half have been introduced as legislation or moved through executive orders. We have campaigns underway to advance the next generation of nuclear energy, create a path forward for the clean use of fossil fuels, and move freight off roads and onto our rails and waterways. Read full case study...

Case Study

Entitlement Reform

Even though Democrats built the social safety net, they were largely silent about the need to fix it to ensure solvency and leave room for critical government investments like education and infrastructure. That’s why we launched a long-term campaign to make a progressive case for fixing entitlements. We helped pass Simpson-Bowles, released our own Social Security reform plan, helped draft the only existing bipartisan Social Security fix legislation, introduced the idea of a collision course between entitlements and investments, became a lead venue for entitlement reformers, and directly influenced the language and policies of top Democrats including President Obama. Read full case study...

Case Study

The Security Gap

For almost four decades, the Democrats were behind in the public’s trust on security issues. We have undertaken a major project to turn that around, beginning with a successful effort to frame Democrats as both tough and smart. When they used that construct in 2006, the security gap disappeared. We also proposed and helped pass bills to increase the end-strength of the Army and create an intelligence ROTC. Now, we are finding and proposing a series of fundamental changes to modernize American security and provide a legacy of progress for the next generation of security experts in Congress. Read full case study...