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Sun Jul 22, 2012, 07:39 AM

Larry Sabato: "most people who claim to be independent really are not" [View all]

From Politico..


While it is fashionable for voters to call themselves “independent” - both in how they respond to surveys or in their voter registration - polling data tell us that most people who claim to be independent really are not. A Gallup survey earlier this year noted that 40% of those polled identified as independents, but after “leaners” toward one party or the other were weeded out, the percentage of real independents was only about 10%. That squares with a more recent report from Ipsos’ Clifford Young, who pegged independents as 11% of the likely voters in the upcoming election. Political science research suggests that the real proportion of independents in the November electorate will be even smaller, perhaps 5% to7%.

Polarization is such a factor in American politics, particularly at the presidential level, that renowned election modeler Alan Abramowitz of Emory University - a senior contributor to our Crystal Ball newsletter - has factored it in to his highly accurate election prediction model. The polarization factor has reduced the advantage typically enjoyed by first-term incumbents, and explains why the recent reelection bids by Clinton in 1996 and Bush in 2004 were closer than fundamentals such as job approval and economic performance otherwise would have indicated. The same factor applies to first-term incumbent President Obama, and Abramowitz’s model projects an achingly close contest.

That’s not to say that all voters are unmovable. Clearly, some voters switched camps from 2004 to 2008, but the “swingy” part of the electorate is small, only a relative handful of every 100 voters. Most of the change from one quadrennium to another comes from variable turnout in the two partisan camps.



My comments:

This is interesting as many political analysts claim this election is all about the independents. According to Larry its all about which voters are the most inspired to turnout and vote. Not sure who has the edge on that at the moment. Clearly the RWingers are quite "inspired" to vote against the President but they are clearly not inspired to vote for Romney. Democrats dont seem terribly inspired to vote for the President or against Romney at the moment. However, I think that is going to change as we go closer to election day.

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Reply Larry Sabato: "most people who claim to be independent really are not" [View all]
DCBob Jul 2012 OP
leveymg Jul 2012 #1
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