Here's my answer:
1. First of all, GOOD QUESTION! And, for starters, the question includes the proposition that independents had been supporting Barack Obama (hence, the "swing"). This is "true" (to the extent that truth has any bearing on this election....) Fully 60% of independent voters in states that required voters to "pick a party" in the recent primaries chose a Democratic ballot. Of those, 65% voted for Barack Obama.
2. They (and by "they", we mean the Pollsters and Pundits and MSM -- which we'll call the PPMSM -- which unintentionally sounds like a Post-Partem Menopausal Stressed Mom, or something like that...) confuse "swing voters" with independents. They also confuse independents with moderates, centrists, middle-of-the-roaders, etc. -- not to mention third party voters...*
3. As David Brooks said recently: Weirdness wins. Independents are weird. Will we win? Hmmmm.... I don't know....
In my opinion, independents are voters who don't like partisan politics. They don't care for either party and do not attest loyalty to ANY party, nevermind the two major parties. Most independents don't care for the minor or "third" parties either. Third parties are marginalized in our corrupt two-party system. Independent voters are all over the place politically -- left, center, right and every point in between. After all -- we're INDEPENDENT! We "plays 'em as we sees 'em..."
3. Basically, the PPMSM is saying that independents are "swinging" to McCain because they (the PPMSM) are running polls that indicate that. The polls are very very volatile. These polls they are talking about now are in the Swing States -- FL, PA and OH...... Also, it's unclear how they are counting indies. They are categorizing voters in basically 5 boxes -- Strong Dem, Lean Dem, True Independents, Lean Repub, Strong Repub.... Hmm.... Our voters are the 3 middle categories. Our voters are split 50/50. Many indies are not impressed with either candidate.
4. And then there's the "true independent" (the PPMSM category of choice) -- As a NY indie said to me on Tuesday as we were knocking on doors for an Independence Party primary in Queens NY: "I like Obama, but because we here in New York have had the experience of black leadership when David Dinkins was Mayor, to me Obama is just another Democrat." I think a lot of independents are thinking like that. I wish Barack Obama would speak for the country and not for his chosen party. I think we'd be a lot better off. Is Barack a leader, or "just another Democrat?" We'll find out. In the meantime, I'll see you at your door.
5. And then, well there's this whole post-modern thing. What is the post-modern campaign? We don't know. That's what's post-modern about it. The PPSMSM are beginning to chirp about this.... See Jonah Goldberg for example on USA Today. In the meantime, I'll see you at the door....
A FIVE-LINE PLAY
By N. Hanks
A community organizer.
A community organizer what?
A community organizer. Tell me what to do.
Email The Hankster and let me know what you think we should do!
PS -- For community organizers, please read LAST WORD TODAY on TODAY'S HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS: Rx for Election Anxiety Disorder-New Chemical Compounds to Help Get You to, and Through, Election Day, take a walk around the block, drink a glass of water, and call a friend! And email The Hankster -- I'd love to help!
* Presumably, independents are not "swinging to McCain" from a preference for Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, or any other so-called "third party" candidates, OR from Democrat Dennis Kucinich or Republican/Libertarian Ron Paul. The PPMSM are not confused about members of third parties, whom the PPMSM largely consider to be fringe, subhuman and probably unAmerican. I don't agree with Sarah Palin's politics -- from what I can assess, she is a right-wing Republican who speaks with a populist voice, and certainly NOT an independent -- she's a partisan opportunist from what I can tell. However, I think the PPMSN has gone to great lengths (which is the only lengths they go to) to demonize Palin's somewhat shallow association with the Alaskan Independence Party. I also don't agree with many of the positions that the AIP takes, however, I strenously object to the demonization of this party. This is America. Probably half the country would like to seceed from the other half. We re-live the Civil War every day. So what's new? How long does it take for a nation to come to terms with its basic contradictions? Maybe forever. We have the time. We don't have the patience. Personally I don't care if Alaska is a state or not. I've heard more than one New Yorker express the opinion that New York City should have its own government separate from the state of New York. I can sympathize. But above all, I think the people of Alaska or New York or any other specific geographical area of the world need to be heard. But I digress..... continue above...
So my advice: Read the LAST WORD TODAY on The Hankster: Rx for Election Anxiety Disorder-New Chemical Compounds to Help Get You to, and Through, Election Day (The Stranger), pour yourself a glass of tap water, and go for a long walk! I'm about to head out now! - NH