THE RISE OF IN­DE­PEN­DENTS

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

An ex­haus­tive anal­y­sis of 279 sur­veys and 450,000 in­ter­views con­ducted be­tween 1992 and 2014 by the Pew Re­search Cen­ter takes a “deep dive” into long-term voter iden­tity. It’s com­pli­cated, but there’s a clear take­away for both par­ties to con­sider.

“The most no­table change in re­cent years has been the ris­ing share of Amer­i­cans who re­ject party la­bels. Based on 2014 data, 39 per­cent of the public iden­ti­fies as in­de­pen­dents, 32 per­cent as Democrats and 23 per­cent as Repub­li­cans. This is the high­est per­cent­age of in­de­pen­dents in more than 75 years of public opin­ion polling,” the anal­y­sis says. “Still, many po­lit­i­cal in­de­pen­dents are, in fact, ‘closet par­ti­sans.’ When the par­ti­san lean­ings of in­de­pen­dents are taken into ac­count, 48 per­cent ei­ther iden­tify as Democrats or lean Demo­cratic; 39 per­cent iden­tify as Repub­li­cans or lean Repub­li­can.”

And among men, it is a tie. When par­ti­san lean­ings are taken into ac­count, 44 per­cent of men are Demo­cratic, 43 per­cent Repub­li­can.

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