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Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Independents Not So Independent

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his Facebook page:

Hey Kids–Independents Are Not Independent!

At least the great majority of them. There are a ton of people who will say they’re independent at first blush–more than admit to identifying with the Democrats or Republicans. But, as political scientists established long ago, this large group of independents in deceptive. Overwhelmingly, independents admit they lean toward one party or another and by and large these “leaners” act a great deal like those who admit they are partisans. The truly independent it turns out are a tiny group (see the graphic).

Pew’s new report on this is detailed and up to date. To the points just made:

“An overwhelming majority of independents (81%) continue to “lean” toward either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. Among the public overall, 17% are Democratic-leaning independents, while 13% lean toward the Republican Party. Just 7% of Americans decline to lean toward a party, a share that has changed little in recent years. This is a long-standing dynamic that has been the subject of past analyses, both by Pew Research Center and others….

Those who do not lean toward a party – a group that consistently expresses less interest in politics than partisan leaners – were less likely to say they had registered to vote and much less likely to say they voted. In fact, just a third said they voted in the midterms.”

No photo description available.

One comment on “Teixeira: Independents Not So Independent

  1. Candace on

    Interesting but isn’t this kind of information supposed to be useful so it can establish what we all can agree on or even where there aren’t absolute disagreements? I think it also helps to show where Republicans and R leaners aren’t exactly on the same page and that’s at least some of what Democrats should be emphasizing when talking to people who tend to vote Republican.

    Because it seems that Democrats talk to people that don’t vote for them about what they think they should care about rather than what they do.
    And don’t Republicans focus on what their voters are currently united on? From this poll, you can see support for the wall as well as views on size of government are there for Republicans and R leaners so they obsess over that. They don’t give as much attention to what they’re divided on (because thats what Democrats are supposed to do) which is also probably why we don’t hear about a lot of things we used to hear them carry on about before.

    I wish this poll like this would’ve included questions about Foreign Policy and our relationship with allies, wars for terrorism, right wing terrorism, law enforcement, security, public schools. What’s important to people from any political party doesn’t change because of whats trending being something else and also I think you’ll find more division within the Republicans and leaners there.(getting tired of that word)

    There has to be some effort to address white identity politics for many reasons but I’m mentioning it for this post because the Gop is using it as a way to infer Democrats aren’t loyal to the country and that is affecting support for policies that would be healthy for this country. Republicans also use it as a way to gain support for policies that are not and will eventually reach them too.
    On white nationalism, question how the Gop’s and current administration’s relationship with Israel and Saudi Arabia fit into that especially when they go after the amazing but also very normal freshman gals in Congress

    I think it could be useful to remind people of the native ethnic, religious and language diversity in Europe. (I know for myself there were a lot of things I didn’t know about Europe until I started a family genealogy project a few years ago)

    It could be asked what people think about increasing the severity of child support enforcement if the state is unable to help single parents in the many ways that they do now.
    Some questions about father figures and male role models could be put out there too.
    Its bizarre to me that the people who were the most upset about the way dads were portrayed on television and blamed it on the left and ultimately Jews are likely now supporters of the current administration. Are we sure this is the “yay testosterone” party?
    Is the GOP trying to portray American white men as the most unappealing creatures and lousy fathers on Earth? I would like to see that question in a poll.


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