Friday, May 22, 2009
Independents on the Decline
(RSS readers may have to hit the link to see the graph) A nice catch from Chris Bowers, who observes that self-identification as an independent is down since April. Historically, the number of independents goes up when there's not an impending election to focus voters' attention, so the current trend definitely Means Something. Bowers thinks that current events are pushing independents into the arms of one party or another; current public debate has been highly partisan, perhaps more partisan than at any time in the past two decades, when there were always a decent number of folks in the middle muddying the picture. I find myself having a hard time coming up with an alternative explanation. So for the time being, absent evidence to the contrary, let's go with it.