- Quote from The Independent Voters of America Manifesto
There’s one thing that’s for certain about the 2012 Presidential Election – it will be close. The latest polls and aggregate poll trackers have forecasted the race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as a dead heat. This means that independent voters will be the deciding swing vote. Whether independents again break for Obama as they did in 2008, or if he’s actually down 14 points to Romney amongst indys as reported in the latest ABC News poll, independent voters in America will be the swing voters that decide campaign 2012.
The fact that independent voters will be a deciding factor this fall is only bolstered by recent increases in voter registration numbers. As reported by Bloomberg News, numbers of registered independent voters in several key “swing states” are surging, while numbers of registered Democrats have steeply declined – certainly cause for concern for the Democratic Party and President Obama’s 2012 reelection chances:
The collective total of independents grew by about 443,000 in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina since the 2008 election, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from state election officials:
During the same time, Democrats saw a net decline of about 480,000 in those six states, while Republicans – boosted in part by a competitive primary earlier this year – added roughly 38,000 voters in them, the analysis shows.
This trend in declining Democratic voter registration and correspondent growth in independent voter registration isn’t just limited to the six states Bloomberg mentions, it’s a national phenomenon. Meanwhile, the Republican Party isn’t having much more success than the Democrats. Until the 2012 presidential primary boosted their most recent voter registration totals, a 2011 USA Today Analysis found that Republican voter registration efforts across the country were falling in tandem with Democrats:
Since the 2008 Election… Registered Democrats declined in 25 of the 28 states that register voters by party. Republicans dipped in 21 states, while independents increased in 18 states... In the eight swing states that register voters by party, Democrats’ registration is down by 800,000 and Republicans’ by 350,000. Independents have gained 325,000…
Registered Democrats still dominate the political playing field with more than 42 million voters, compared to 30 million Republicans and 24 million independents. But Democrats have lost the most — 1.7 million, or 3.9%, from 2008… By contrast, the number of independents has grown for years and is up more than 400,000 since 2008, or 1.7%. States with big gains: Colorado, Florida, North Carolina — and Arizona, a possible target for President Obama in 2012.
The fact of the matter is that while both parties have struggled to increase their voter rolls since 2008, record numbers of dissatisfied voters are newly registering as independents. With the 2012 Presidential election shaping up to be much closer than the 2008 contest, independent voters can and will be the deciding swing vote this fall. Whomever you vote for, we encourage you to consider your decision wisely – your independent vote could decide the election.