The Real Independent Voter

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The Real Independent Voter A notion exists that the “independent voter” is also an independent thinker, researcher, and analyst - a voter not swayed by media and partisan politics; however, I propose that while voters may be successfully categorized, neither independent nor partisan voters are better informed than the other, this must be attributed individually and not categorically. “Independent” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “not subject to authority or control; not depending on another…for one’s opinion; not belonging to or supported by a party” (Independent, 2002, p. 417). The problem with labelling a voter (or group of voters) with this term is that the label is most often a self-designation that sometimes has little to do with that word actually implies. Political analyst, Nate Silver, defines Independent voters in this manner: 1) People who are mainline Democrats or Republicans for all intents and purposes, but who reject the formality of being labeled as such; 2) People who have a mix of conservative and liberal views that don’t fit neatly onto the one-dimensional political spectrum, such as libertarians; 3) People to the extreme left or the extreme right of the political spectrum, who consider the Democratic and Republican parties to be equally contemptible; 4) People who are extremely disengaged from politics and who may not have fully formed political views; 5) True-blue moderates; 6) Members of organized third parties. “These voters have almost
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