A Closer Look at “Independent Voters” Reveals That Most Are Not

A Closer Look at “Independent Voters” Reveals That Most Are Not

We broke down the mid-March Pew Research Study of self-described “Independent Voters”  and found several interesting data points of use for progressive candidates and campaigns.

It’s More the Party Label Than The Party’s Issues

  • Almost three-fourths of those who call themselves “Independents” are indeed partisans (as illustrated by their issue preferences) who just vote less.
  • These voters are generally fine with the blunt labels of “Conservatives” or “Liberals.”
  • Democratic closet partisans are more likely to call themselves “Moderates” than “Liberals” by 45/39 margin.
  • Republican closet partisans are more likely to call themselves “Conservatives” than “Moderates” by a wider 51/39 margin.

Voter Participation

In general, these “Closet Partisans” are registered at lower rates and therefore turnout at lower rates than self-admitted partisans. Closet Republicans hold a registration edge but the Closet Democrats vote slightly more often, nullifying much of the advantage.

Antipathy Toward Opposition Party

Closet partisans now mirror the attitudes of party regulars --venom toward the opposition is the norm.  We see with Democratic closet partisans that their distaste for President Trump is actually greater than their GOP counterparts’ hatred to Obama.

How they Differ from the “Party Regulars”

A review of the Pew Report’s crosstabs reveals some important differences between the Closet Partisans and the Party regulars when it comes to broad messaging themes.

 

Statement                                                                     Closet Rep. vs.

Party Regulars

Approve same-sex marriage                                            +18%

Support for legalized marijuana                                       +15%

Says system rigged for powerful                                      +14%

We should do more for civil rights                                    +9%

Wants smaller government                                              +4%

 

Statement                                                                     Closet Dem. vs.

Party Regulars

Support Trump tax cuts                                                  +11%

Approval of same-sex marriage                                     +9%

Immigration is a net plus for the nation                          +8%

Oppose expansion of scope of government                 +8%

Support for legalized marijuana                                     +6%

Opposition to the Wall                                                    +3%

 

To read more about the Pew Study, click here.

As always, we invite you to join our voter research conversation on social media with #chismstrat. 

Comments

  1. Jamie's avatar
    Jamie
    | Permalink
    Down through the years I have voted for both republican and democrat nominees.

    I am a woman who is Native American Indian/Japanese, I am highly educated with several degrees. I am an artist, have a small business, teach at a University and am an independent voter.
  2. Jamie's avatar
    Jamie
    | Permalink
    Down through the years I have voted for both republican and democrat nominees.

    I am a woman who is Native American Indian/Japanese, I am highly educated with several degrees. I am an artist, have a small business, teach at a University and am an independent voter.
  3. Paul Hosse''s avatar
    Paul Hosse'
    | Permalink
    I am a writer of an independent political blog for 15 years. I have over 40 years of experience in all areas of politics. Most Indies are not "closet" anything. The vast majority are moderates/centrists who've been purged as the Democrat or Republican parties have moved to the extremes. It has been my experience that Indies vote issues and individuals.They are usually much better informed on the issues and are more likely to be critical thinkers who avoid partisan dogma as much as possible.
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