Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Independent Voters: One Person's Myth is Another's Reality

  • The Myth of the Independent Voter (BY JAMELLE BOUIE, The American Prospect/Tapped) Like clockwork, Washington’s obsession with “independent voters” reaches its peak during presidential election season. From now until the election, a good portion of Beltway journalism will focus on how policies appear to independents, that large class of rational voters who carefully consider the merits of both parties. Among political scientists, however, it is common knowledge that this image is a myth. 
  • Independents are not Moderates  (by Sarah Lyons, Communications Director, IndependentVoting.org) Three of the eight classifications
     that emerged from this year’s study were dedicated to independent voters—up from 2 classifications in the 2005 survey. More importantly, the presence of independents was evident across all five of the remaining classifications including those meant to define Democratic and Republican voters. In those groups, independents comprised 15% - 34% of their total makeup. Independents are everywhere it seems.

  • Voting rules not truly open to all (Natchez Democrat) Open primaries simply mean that a registered voter can choose either the Democratic ballot or Republican ballot regardless of whether or not he or she is an actual member of that political party. Rather than calling it an “open primary” it’s probably more correct to call it a “pick-a-party primary.”
  • Recalls triggered by Wisconsin's union fight to start Tuesday (Reuters) Unlike many other U.S. states, Wisconsin has open primaries and no official party registration. So Republicans can run as Democrats and vote in Democratic primaries and Democrats can run as Republicans and vote in Republican primaries.
Los Angeles Democrats Pressed to Retain Seat (By IAN LOVETT, NY Times) David Wasserman, an editor at Cook Political Report, said special elections often come down to turning out a party’s base, which can give outsiders an advantage over establishment candidates. “Independent voters these days are willing to do anything to send a message to Washington that they’re upset about the established order,” Mr. Wasserman said. “That’s why this race is closer than it ought to be.”


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