Social Policy & Politics Program | Report

2012 Showdown: Battle for the Obama Independents

by Michelle Diggles, Ph. D and Lanae Erickson Hatalsky

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This memo analyzes 2008 exit poll data and reveals startling new findings. Many analysts lump all Independents together, when in fact there are two very distinct groups of Independent voters: those who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 (“Obama Independents”) and those who voted for John McCain (“McCain Independents”). The Obama Independents are the real heart of the contest for 2012. If President Obama wins the bulk of the Obama Independents, he’ll be reelected; but if the Republican nominee can peel off enough votes, he’ll be number 45.

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