The myth of Independents

Apparently various pundits are at it again talking about the presumably monolithic bloc of "Independent" voters in American politics.  John Side is having none of it:

Jon Bernstein beat me to this, but he has other fish to fry with Bai. Plus, I want to yell.

INDEPENDENTS ARE NOT A “VAST MIDDLE GROUND.

INDEPENDENTS DO NOT COMPRISE MORE THAN “A THIRD OF AMERICANS.

How many DAMN TIMES must this be said before this MOST BASIC OF FINDINGS — first explicated at length almost 20 YEARS AGO! — sinks into the heads of pundits.

I will keep linking to this post
as long as it takes. To repeat: true, honest-to-God independents are
about 10% of the American population. Declining support for Obama among
independents accounts for less than a fifth of Obama’s overall decline
in support.

Follow that last link if you want a nice thorough explanation.  The book Sides links to actually was what inspired my dissertation research, i.e., why do so many people say they are "independent" if they are functionally partisans?  Answer (in abstract form) here.  

 

 

 

About these ads

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 557 other followers

%d bloggers like this: