Political scientists David Brady and Douglas Rivers explain why:
Neither Obama nor the eventual Republican nominee has the independent vote locked up. How the candidates explain their plans to get the economy moving and the crucial tradeoffs among deficits, jobs, and the safety net will determine how the crucial independent vote goes in the balloting this fall. Preaching to the choir of Republican primary and caucus voters might well be necessary to win the nomination. But independents hold the key in November.