Battle for the Independent Voter, how will they vote?

Independent Voter

Pew Research – Partisan divides in the U.S. are as wide as they’ve ever been in the modern political era. But what about the large share of Americans who identify as Independents?

recent Pew Research Center report took a detailed look at these Americans. Among other things, it illustrated that independents have lower levels of political participation and are demographically different from those who affiliate with a party – and that their views are often as divided as those of self-identified partisans.

Many we know don’t trust polls, after all, most polls were wrong in the 2016 US presidential elections. But is this true? Look at YouGov 2016 pre-election presidential polls, and they were 100% correct – they were all within the margin of error advertised. The problem was the analysis of the polls and their reporting. Ignore polls at your peril.

So we are going to look at the Pew poll of independent voters, not to challenge the data, rather see if we can put it into a proper analytical perspective. It does us no good to pretend – rather face facts as they are and deal with them. This is important because if we ignore factual data, the political strategy would be wrong, and hence could cause the political players to act incorrectly.

Independent Voters Chart

News Forecasters reproduced the main view of the independent voter poll in the inset chart but do read the full report. As Pew did, we will break it down in our view the main two takeaway points, as well as suggesting an action response for both sides to those specific independent voters:

1) Democrats are losing faith – There are 38% that identify as politically independent, but most “lean” toward one of the two major parties. Only 7% of Americans overall don’t express a partisan leaning, while 13% lean toward the Republican Party, and 17% lean toward the Democratic Party.

Looking at the historical trend, more Democrats have moved to be independents than Republicans, though still lean Democrat. This most likely is due to the Democratic party moving further left than their constituency and minority voters increasingly growing disillusioned with Democratic policies that have not changed their lot in life over recent times. Republicans leaning independents have held steady. These Democratic-leaning voters could be fertile grown to search for Republican voters. 

Action – faithless independent Democrats can be won over by the Republicans in two ways. Raising the fears of far-left policies. For the Democrats, they need to show how these policies are doable – socialism in new to America. The Republicans will need to continually demonstrate the gains made with the solid economic growth and the less intrusive foreign policy. Democrats will need to show the dangers of a Trump economy that could falter, along with any foreign policy blunders.

For faithless independent Republicans, the Republican voters need to be reminded that, though perhaps you prefer another candidate or troubled by Trump’s Tweeter gun, President Trump is the vehicle to maintain the White House. For the Democrats, they need to amp up the negative rhetoric of Trump.

2) Many independents are apathetic – particularly the 7% of Americans who don’t lean toward a party and are less politically engaged than partisans. Independents also feel more negatively about political candidates and parties than partisans. They also tend to be younger, which is understandable – were you really thinking about politics when you were young – e.g., sports, dating, career, etc…

Action – the Republicans would target those that are triggered by detailed policies. Democrats need to amp up the emotive based voters. Emotive based voters tend to vote Democratic.

If the independent voter is only 7% of the total voters, why would we care? Regardless of who wins in 2020, the US electorate is extremely divided. Many have already made up their minds even a year out before the election. So it will be a battle for the independent voter.

Who will win the battle? News Forecasters believes that it will depend on who best will execute their action plans. Right now, the Trump negatives are high – so advantage for the moment is to the Democrats. We will need to watch and see how this plays out going forward into the 2020 U.S. presidential elections.

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