Saturday, July 23, 2011

Obama Would Do Well to Remember the Independents


  • Guest columnist: Washington should not forget the independents (Des Moines Register) Obama would do well, not just to remember that history but to make it a more visible feature of how he governs. Independents catapulted him — first to the Democratic nomination and then to the White House.
  • The Rise of the Political Independents - Americans are increasingly alienated from the two parties (by R. Michael Alvarez in The Psychology Behind Political Debate, Psychology Today) To reiterate: rather than becoming more partisan, Americans are becoming more politically independent. Thus, there has been far too much focus on partisan polarization, and not enough focus on the growing tendency of Americans to proclaim independence from the two major political parties.
  • YOUNG HISPANICS COULD BECOME THE NEWEST INDEPENDENTS (by Christopher A. Guzman, CAIVN) Given the specific issues noted in this survey, this could indicate that these young minorities are open to becoming fiscal libertarians.  Issues highlighted in surveying young Hispanic preferences on economic policy include less government interference, lower taxes on business profits, reduced federal spending, and specifically effecting more cuts in federal spending rather than raising taxes to address the economic crisis. Noteworthy is that attitudes regarding limiting the government's role is supported by a strong majority of young Hispanics.
  • Officials recall local elections and the issues that drive them (BY BRIAN ANDERSON, SOUTH BERGENITE, A new study from the Pew Research Center shows more voters identify themselves as independents than in the past-37 percent of voters identify themselves as independents, up from 30 percent in 2005. Pew also found although many of those independents do not identify with a party, they aren't in the middle of the political spectrum either.
  • Unfavorable Ratings for Both Major Parties Near Record Highs (By NATE SILVER, NY Times/GiveThirtyEight) But there are also downside cases for both the president and the Congress. Mr. Obama’s post-partisan branding, evident especially during the early phases of his 2008 campaign, has been submerged by parties that continue to become more partisan on the one hand and less popular on the other. 
  • GOP Makes Big Gains among White Voters, Especially among the Young and Poor (Pew Research Center) Analysis of the overall balance of partisan identification in all Pew Research Center polling conducted in each year – updated with data from the first six months of 2011 –finds that as the number of Democrats has fallen from a quarter-century high in 2008, the number of self-proclaimed independents has continued to grow. As a result, there are now as many independent voters as Democrats (34% each) – the first time this has occurred in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys, and, by all indications, the highest percent independent since party identification was first measured in the late 1930s.

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