Decoding Independent Voters

… Republicans and Democrats comprise 28% and 32% of the population, respectively. According to Gallup, 38% of Americans identify themselves as neither Republican nor Democrat, but rather as Independents. …

Does that mean that 38% of the country is a mystery as to how they will vote in elections? The answer is no.

A recent study conducted by Carlee Beth Hawkins and Brian Nosek of the University of Virginia sought to explain the impact of having such a substantial portion of the nation claiming to be Independent, and how their decisions are ultimately made.

Their results were not especially surprising, but incredibly important to understanding how elections are decided. [cont.]

Ryan Steusloff, WPA Opinion Research