Social Policy & Politics Program | Graphic

Independents Dominate Skyline in 2012

by Lanae Erickson Hatalsky and Michelle Diggles, Ph. D

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The architecture of the American electorate has changed since the last Presidential election. The number of people who identify as an Independent has skyrocketed, and both parties have shed members. According to Pew, 38% of the country now consider themselves Independent—surpassing previous peaks in the early 1990s.

Public opinion polls and voter registration data all point to the same conclusion: the skyline this November could feature more Independent voters than we’ve seen in decades.

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End Notes

1 Andrew Kohut, Carroll Doherty, Michael Dimock, and Scott Keeter, “Political Typology: Beyond Red v. Blue,” Report, Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, May 4, 2011, p. 22, Print.

2 Andrew Kohut, Carroll Doherty, Michael Dimock, and Scott Keeter, “Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years: Trends in American Values: 1987-2012,” Report, Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, June 4, 2012, pp. 13 and 168, Print.

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