The Changing Face of America's Independent Voters

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's an understood rule of presidential politics: win over independent voters in November, and the election is yours. But who are the independent voters? Many people think of them as white, educated, socially liberal and fiscally conservative. That may be true of some independents, but the group as a whole is changing and diversifying, and now many Americans who are ethnic minorities are identifying as independents. In 2008, less than 60% of self-identified independent were white, according to American National Election Studies.

We're talking independents with Anna Sale, reporter for WNYC's It's A Free Country.


Anna Sale

Produced by:

Joseph Capriglione

Comments [4]

Wally Balloo from a place NOT on a fence

Yuliya from Miami stole my thunder!

I felt exactly the same way when I heard the "off the fence" comment - which implies we are independent because we can't decide between two choices. I am independent because I don't want to be identified with either party - I think they are both generally useless.

When you think of the potential within this country, is it very depressing to see what we have become. Where's John Doe or Jefferson Smith when you need them? I guess those who are smart enough to cure our ills are smart enough not to run.

Aug. 25 2011 12:56 PM
Yuliya from Miami

I'm an independent voter because neither party represents what I really believe. John said in his comment that independent voters should get off the fence, but I believe many of us are not on the fence. We know what we believe and what we want for the country, but the two parties are much too limited in their views and scope. While I will not stay home just because I don't have a candidate that truly represents my views, it is disempowering and occasionally depressing. I don't want to choose between two evils. I want to vote for someone who really speaks for me.

Aug. 25 2011 10:41 AM
lhrow from MA

We've always been independents because we don't want the fundraising requests or other calls/mail that come with belonging. Even having a magazine subscription gets us a lot of junk mail and solicitations. We also don't want to endorse a big party platform but tend to pick and choose what elements of policy and values various candidates express.

Aug. 25 2011 09:43 AM
Mark from within commuting range of Wall Street

I am an independent because I would like to moderate Democratic zeal for government solutions to social problems with fiscal prudence, and the Republic zeal for low taxes for rich companies and people with more enlightened attitudes toward social problems. In other words, I am an independent because I am turned off by the zealotry at both ends of our political spectrum

Aug. 25 2011 07:57 AM

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