Independents And The Economy… [We're Not] Stupid

Posted by & filed under 2012 Election, An Independent Viewpoint, Political Polls, The IVA Angle


Despite some of the questionable comments left by users on our Facebook Page, we know that independent voters generally aren’t stupid. In fact, independents tend to weigh electoral choices and issues with more thought than committed partisan voters, often thinking outside the box and sourcing their own news to develop nuanced political views, rather than relying exclusively on either of the two-party platforms and talking points.

Here’s the latest proof of this phenomenon, illustrated by the chart above and the words of Ezra Klein of the Washington Post:

“With the election less than two months away, partisan differences in views of economic news have become wider than ever… Just 15% of Democrats say recent economic news is mostly bad, down from 31% a month ago and among the lowest percentages over the last four years. Six-in-ten Republicans (60%) say news about the economy is mostly bad, as do 36% of independents. Opinions among Republicans and independents are largely unchanged from a month ago.”

There’s something interesting about this chart, and it’s not just that independents tend to be squarely in the middle of Democrats and Republicans on their perception of “economic news.” What sticks out is that in campaign years (2010… and right now) when partisan messaging and hackery is at its height, independents are able to ‘stay the course’ in the face of hundreds of millions of dollars spent to persuade the political middle. Meanwhile, partisans simply adapt the widely countervailing economic messages of Democrats and Republicans, and then spit them back at pollsters. The truth about the economy (and almost all politicized issues) clearly lies somewhere between the current hyperpartisan logic of both sides of the spectrum, and according to this survey from Pew – so do independents. Coincidence? Certainly not.

Further proof that independents aren’t as simple as political scientists make us out to be? Certainly.

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3 Responses

  1. Janieliza September 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    There seems to be a lot of consternation about what we hear other people saying … more than necessary if you ask me. But what we are hearing and beginning to believe is that the Republicans are not as worried as they have suggested. They hyped the situation until they got Wall Street up in arms and ready to kill the credit rating in the Bureaus, but Republicans are not willing to cut spending and not willing to pay the fair share for their station in life. They apparently do not believe it is their indebtedness.

    If they do not believe it is serious enough to do something toward paying their fair share nor stopping the gravy train for Big Oil, Big Agriculture, and Big Pharma, then what can the rest of us do as long as they hold majority? So why should we be talking to anyone about what we are not able to defeat. It appears the Republicans are just going to take the nation down in order for it to appear that the Democrats did what THEY clearly have accomplished under Bush and now by obstruction under Obama.
    Nasty little buggers.

  2. Cichawoda September 21, 2012 at 11:04 am

    “The truth about the economy (and almost all politicized issues) clearly lies somewhere between the current hyperpartisan…” now there’s a hyperbolic assumption. So if one party says the world is flat and the other that it is like a ball the truth has to be… in the middle? Independents can be a wrong on issues as any of the parties. Rational discourse among many ideologically committed parties would be the answer. The problem is that both parties, but especially the current Republicans, have to lie and distort because if they were truthful about their ideological goals they would never get elected.


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