The Independent Vote …


Mitt Romney won more than 50 percent of the independent vote in 2012 – the first Republican presidential nominee to hit that threshold in nearly a quarter century. It didn’t matter, though, because far too small a percentage of the partisan electorate (a.k.a. non-independents) identified as “Republican.”

A new analysis of independents conducted by Voter Gravity lays bare the challenge facing the GOP …

“The Republican Party will have to either substantially increase the number of Americans that identify with the party or gain an even greater share of the independent vote if it wishes to remain competitive at the national level,” the study concludes.

Prepared by University of Alabama political scientist Dr. George Hawley, the Voter Gravity study is loaded with data every 2014 campaign should take to heart. For example, it notes that “canvassers who ask for party identification should always ask independents whether they lean toward one of the major parties.”

Why? Because independents who lean Democratic are for all practical purposes partisan Democrats – whereas independents who lean Republican are more likely to be “pure” independents. Failing to accurately gauge the distinction could lead to fatally flawed data – and lost elections.

Hawley’s Voter Gravity study also explores the “attention gap” those campaigns seeking to lure independents must confront.

“Your typical independent is not closely monitoring political news, and likely has little interest in overly wonkish discussions about specific policies,” the study reveals.

Independents are also all over the map when it comes to economic and social issues – supporting tax increases on wealthier income earners to lower the deficit yet opposing additional spending on welfare programs.

“On many policy issues, independents are split down on the middle. On others, they are majority conservative or majority liberal,” the study found.

To view the Voter Gravity results for yourself, click on the link below …