Independents Support Democrats By 2 to 1 Margin

The Republicans have governed from the far right and have paid little attention to the views of the middle, other than to use misleading tactics to attempt to get just enough of their votes to win by a narrow majority. It appears they will pay for this when the independents vote, as their base is not large enough to make up for all the independents who plan to vote Democratic. The Washington Post reports that independent voters favor the Democrats by a two to one margin. Iraq is the major issue this year, but independents support Democrats on far more issues:

Among those voting primarily on Iraq, Democrats hold a sizable lead, 76 percent to 21 percent, in voting intentions. Democrats also are favored by voters who cite health care as their most important issue, while those voting on terrorism or immigration strongly favor Republicans. In 2004 a majority agreed with the Democrats on virtually all issues, but were misled into believing the Repubicans would keep them safer. Voters are no longer fooled by this:

Voters also continue to trust Democrats more than Republicans to deal with the war, the economy, North Korea and ethics in government. On terrorism, the two parties are at parity.

But independents, the key swing voter group, strongly trust the Democrats on all of those issues by margins ranging from 14 percentage points on terrorism to 23 points on Iraq and North Korea and 26 points on ethics in government.

The growing independent support for Democratic House candidates represents a significant shift in attitudes since the 2004 election, when Democrats held only a slim advantage. In winning reelection, Bush narrowly lost the independent vote, 50 percent to 48 percent, and in the vote for the House, independents split 50 to 46 for Democratic candidates.

The USA Today/Gallup Poll has similar bad news for the Republicans which analysts suggest will lead to significant Democratic gains:

Non-partisan analysts Stuart Rothenberg and Charles Cook estimate Democrats will gain at least 18 to 20 seats in the House and possibly more than 30. Polls indicate Democrats may pick up four Senate seats now held by Republicans and are competitive in three other states where the Senate seats are in GOP hands: Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri.

Weighing on Republicans’ chances, analysts say: Ethics scandals such as the one involving former representative Mark Foley, R-Fla., and his inappropriate communications with young male Congressional pages; escalating violence in Iraq and voters’ increasing apprehension over the war there.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Daniel DiRito says:

    So my take on this group of voters is that they are generally skeptical of both political parties but they are also not inclined to making radical or precipitous adjustments. Members of both the Democratic and Republican party are apt to believe that these voters take far too long to decide that its time to toss out one group and enable the other…but I would argue that they are demonstrating what I might call the jurors mentality…they see the party in power as innocent until proven guilty. They sit back, evaluate the evidence, and then speak with a resounding and definitive voice. Again, I don’t want to predict an outcome but I do like to study the factors and attempt to offer some informed speculation…and it appears that these voters are prepared to be heard.

    The fact that independents voted with the GOP for a number of years wasn’t necessarily an across the board endorsement of Republican values and should the presumed shift to the Democratic Party take place in November, I would still argue that they haven’t made a clear ideological shift. Frankly, I tend to believe that they would actually prefer that values issues be personal decisions and not an integral component of a political agenda…but they aren’t usually offered that choice so they vote on the issues that they find meaningful and accept that they are attached to a larger agenda.

    In my opinion, independent and moderate thinking voters appear to have made the conclusion that the GOP should no longer be in power and they plan to vote accordingly. Further, if my theory is correct, it shouldn’t be difficult to predict when this group of voters is going to say enough is enough. We often hear assertions that voters are stupid…but if my speculation is correct…it may well be the politicians and those in positions of power that are guilty of stupidity. The bottom line is that it looks like that message is about to be delivered.

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