Independent voters are swing voters– so much so, that the two parties would rather have us not participate if they don’t know which way we are going to vote. That explains the recent spate of articles, especially from Democrats, downplaying the impact and even the existence of swing voters. Now that President Obama is on the upswing among independents, however, we seem to be ok with them. Politico reports on a poll from Third Way:
The majority of those who call themselves politically independent typically lean toward one major party or the other, but about 15 percent of the total electorate (roughly 40 percent of independents) are thought to authentically swing between parties.
Obama won 57 percent of this group in 2008. In this poll, which took place in mid-March, he led Romney 44 percent to 38 percent.
Yet when asked to assign a number on a scale of one to nine (one being liberal, nine being conservative and five being moderate), the swing independents put themselves at an average of 5.2 — slightly right of center — ranking Romney at 6.1 and Obama at 3.9.