More Americans say they are politically independent than at any time in the last 75 years, the poll says. In terms of percentages, the proportion of Independents to Democrats and Republicans also is the highest in more than two decades.
Do you ever feel as if you belong to a political party with a membership of one?
If so, then you have a head start on understanding the results of the latest Pew Research Center poll.
More Americans say they are politically independent than at any time in the last 75 years, the poll says.
In terms of percentages, the proportion of Independents to Democrats and Republicans also is the highest in more than two decades. Some 38 percent of the 3,008 people who were polled in early April said they are an Independent, while 32 percent said they are Democrats and 24 percent said they’re Republicans.
The pollsters and most of the media focused on a different finding, though: People who say they are Republican or Democratic are farther to the right or left, respectively, than voters used to be.
This isn’t hard to parse, is it? A good many people are thinking the way politicians in Washington do. Just last week, I heard a political operative refer to his ideological adversaries as “enemies.”
No wonder fewer and fewer people identify with a major party.
Of course, the connection is much more complicated than that, and this latest poll from Pew does an excellent job of delving into the economic status, education, age and other demographics of the people it polled.
PARTY, PARTY, PARTY
Reading the poll results, I was reminded of an email conversation I had with a longtime reader in 2008.
My email buddy had this to say: “I believe one of the biggest problems we have today is the inability of both political parties to do anything that might make the other look good in the eyes of the voter.
“If they would put less priority on staying in office and more on looking out for the welfare of the country. If they would start being more concerned with how to help the country and less concerned about their political party, we may not be in many of messes we continue to face.
“Several times I’ve written leaders of both parties that, if I’m drowning I couldn’t care less if the person throwing me a lifeline is a Democrat or Republican, but (I) can imagine the(m) arguing who should get credit for saving me as I sink below the surface of the water. Each time, I’ve not gotten the first response to my letters.”