Social Policy & Politics Program | Report

Opportunity Trumps Fairness with Swing Independents

by Michelle Diggles, Ph. D and Lanae Erickson Hatalsky

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Soccer Moms. Reagan Democrats. Rockefeller Republicans.

Who will be this year’s decisive group? Swing Independents.

Third Way’s newest poll with Global Strategy Group looks at 1,000 Independents in battleground states and identifies a bloc of voters who are truly up-for-grabs in 2012: Swing Independents.

There’s good news for the President: Swing Independents have positive views of Obama, but they are not locked down. So far Swing Indys prefer President Obama by 6 points, but over one-third are undecided. The Congressional ballot is virtually tied, with nearly 6 in 10 undecided.

We find that Swing Independents are “opportunity” voters—preferring an optimistic, opportunity framework on the economy over one based on fairness. Why? Opportunity addresses their anxieties about the future, concerns that America is slipping, doubts about how the next generation will succeed, and questions over how we will strengthen our economy.

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