Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Hankster News of the Day for Independents June 5

Today is Top Two Open Primary Day in California!
  • Poll: Political independents outweigh partisans (JENNIFER AGIESTA, AP, Huffington Post) More Americans now call themselves politically independent than at any point in the last 75 years, according to a new poll. The survey also shows that those who do align themselves with a party are more ideological and have become more polarized than at any point in the last 25 years, particularly on issues important in this year's presidential and congressional campaigns.
  • Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years/ Trends in American Values: 1987-2012 (Pew Research Center) But the growing partisan divide over political values is not simply the result of the declining number who identify with the party labels. While many Americans have given up their party identification over the past 25 years and now call themselves independents, the polarization extends also to independents, most of whom lean toward a political party. Even when the definition of the party bases is extended to include these leaning independents, the values gap has about doubled between 1987 and 2012.
  • Forecaster Forum: An independent voter's plea to the parties (By Elizabeth Miller, The Forecaster Portland ME) At a panel discussion sponsored this spring by the Maine Festival of the Book, I found out that I am among the 40 percent of registered voters in our country not enrolled in a political party. Why am I “unaffiliated,” even when it restricts me to only general elections? Because neither side is charting a course that makes sense to me.
  • Will California's nonpartisan primary result in more moderate candidates? - Under the new format, the two candidates for California office receiving the most votes will advance regardless of their party affiliation. Proponents say it will result in less partisanship. (By Daniel B. Wood, Christian Science Monitor) “Right now there’s just confusion,” says Barbara O’Connor, director emeritus of the Institute for Study of Politics and Media at California State University, Sacramento. She notes that 26 candidates are running against veteran Sen. Dianne Feinstein. “I talked to several who filled out absentee ballots who were dumbfounded at the configuration of the ballot. Those who habitually vote for a full party slate now have to actually read them to see who is in it.”
  • Nonpartisan Primaries Face Test in California (By JENNIFER MEDINA, New York Times) This year, voters and candidates for the first time can choose to register with “no party preference,” a category that was once referred to as “decline to state.” Voters in the primaries can pick candidates from any party. 
  • California’s Everybody-Into-the-Pool Primary Faces Test (By Michael B. Marois, Bloomberg Businessweek) “The rules of the game have changed,” said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, a Sacramento-based nonpartisan group that has advocated for open democracy. “Democrats and Republicans no longer have a lock on the process.” 
  • Walker's lead in Wisconsin recall election tightens in new poll (By Rachel Rose Hartman, ABC News) According to PPP, Walker--who was targeted for a recall after waging war on state public employee unions in 2011--is winning among men, whites, seniors and residents of the Milwaukee suburbs. Barrett leads among women, minorities, young voters, and residents of Milwaukee county and greater Madison. Barrett is also winning independent voters 48 to 46 percent, a lead that is within the margin of error.
  • Former Rep. Curry to run again for legislature (By Lynn Bartels, The Denver Post/ THE SPOT) Former state Rep. Kathleen Curry plans to petition to run as an unaffiliated candidate from House District 61, a move that could take votes from the Democrat who currently holds that seat.
  • Bloomberg involved in San Diego mayoral race (Becky Yeh - OneNewsNow California correspondent) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially announced his endorsement of California Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher for San Diego mayor. Bloomberg says Fletcher is a great choice because he is an independent. Fletcher left the Republican Party in March. Bloomberg left the Democratic Party in 2001, then abandoned the GOP in 2007 and became an independent.
  • Independence Party's endorsement of breakaway Dems is a 'game changer' (By Amanda Verrette, Legislative Gazette) From a political point of view, said Klein, the Independence Party proves to be the "margin of victory." "Many candidates, if they had the Independence Party line two years ago, would be senators right now," said Klein.
  • Barron's Big Boost - Will Towns's endorsement of Barron influence your voting decision in the primary? (By C. Zawadi Morris, Bed-Stuy Patch)

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