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Political Independents and Why They Matter to You

During each election cycle we hear about the elusive independent voters, who are apparently the deciding voters of every election. But what do we actually know about their importance or the best way to reach them?

There has been an argument recently that both parties have been neglecting their swing voters and instead of trying to persuade these swing voters, have focused their efforts on much more involved voters.

Political Autonomy

Before you can begin to try to persuade independent voters toward your cause, you need to have a little more information about what makes them tick. The first thing that identifies an independent is political autonomy, meaning that they are proud that they don’t think like the rest of the population, and because of that, they are proud not to have the label of “Republican” or “Democrat.”

Dislike for Political Parties

Secondly, more often than not, independent voters have a very strong dislike for political parties and partisan players, and the next thing that sets independents apart would be that they are indifferent to any and all political parties and their affiliates.

Inconsistent Voters

Finally, independent voters could be classified as being inconsistent. Independents might vote Democrat during one election and then Republican the next.

There is a case to be made for saying that the Independents who lean Republican are different from the Independents who lean Democrat. According to Zachary Cook’s research in “The Younger, More Independent Republican Leaner,” he argued that this was because independents who leaned toward the GOP were less economically conservative than the party, and thus felt more cross pressure than independents who leaned toward the Democrats.

Even though independent voters are more likely to pride themselves on thinking outside of the box, it is interesting to note that according to a study done in 2012 by the Pew Research Center, independents are less likely to be informed when it comes to what is happening in the world of politics.

Download the Voter Gravity report here by Dr. George Hawley, assistant professor of political science at the University of Alabama, to dive into the latest research revealing recent trends that impact your campaign. Discover the answers to these important questions:

  • Partisans are your most reliable voters, but are many independents closet partisans?
  • What is the difference between independents who lean toward the Democratic Party, and those who lean toward the Republican Party?
  • Is the number of self-described independents increasing and if so, at which party’s expense?
  • Do independents pay less attention to politics?

Download Full Report: Political Independents: Who They Are and How to Reach Them