…tens of millions of independents, the vast middle ground where elections are won and lost in America…
Even more consequential, though, is the fast-growing swath of voters who can summon no affinity for either party. As in other aspects of modern American life, brand allegiance in politics is at an all-time low; more than a third of Americans (and more than half of all Massachusetts voters) identify themselves as independents rather than as members of the blue team or the red.
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.