Conventional wisdom from political “scientists” says that Independent voters are “closeted partisans,” disinterested and apathetic, and worst of all, a “myth.” While these critiques may hold some truth in certain circumstances, they often miss the trees for the forest – independent voters do exist. We are a large group of voters that decides every close election. We are engaged. We are interested.
In fact, two recent polls have offered information running counter to the assumption that Independents are “not savvy” and “don’t follow politics.”
“Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed by The New York Times and CBS News since the announcement said they thought that Mr. Obama had made it “mostly for political reasons,” while 24 percent said it was “mostly because he thinks it is right.” Independents were more likely to attribute it to politics, with nearly half of Democrats agreeing.”
Frankly, the fact that anyone surveyed wouldn’t attribute Obama’s announcement to “politics” in an election year is disturbing, and we’re glad that the Independent voters contacted for this poll had their critical thinking caps on.
Next, from a NewsMax report on a poll from The Hill, Independent voters reported that they believed President Obama was “over-politicizing” the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, despite a promise from the president that he wouldn’t “spike the football” in celebration.
“A total of 52 percent of independents think the White House has over-politicized the anniversary, while 36 percent think the response has been “about right.” Among likely voters overall, 45 percent believe Obama over-politicized the anniversary, while 46 percent think he got it about right.
Among Republicans, 65 percent think Obama has over-politicized, while 28 percent think he got it about right. Among Democrats, 74 percent think the president got it about right, while 16 percent believe he over-politicized.”
Finally, it’s also interesting to note that in each of these polls, Independents were closer to one of the two parties on each issue – how’s that for “mythical” independent thinking? If Independents are so “disinterested and apathetic,” then why did they side with the skeptics in both of these polls, regardless of partisan response? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.