Dover Bitch

Sunday, July 01, 2007


At TPM, Steve Benen writes:

There was, however, one piece of information from the report that struck me as odd.

While these independents swung substantially to the Democratic side in 2006, 77 percent of them say they would seriously consider voting for an independent if one were running.

Is it me, or is 77% a little low? Nearly one-in-four self-described independents wouldn't consider voting for an independent? Then why even consider yourself an independent?

That doesn't seem odd to me at all. There are plenty of reasons to consider yourself an independent without supporting an independent candidate. First of all, you might despise the two-party system, but wouldn't consider voting for a candidate you don't think has a prayer of actually winning.

Second, in some states, there's not really a reason to actually register as a member of a party. In California, for instance, you can vote in any primary you choose. What is the benefit of being in a party? You can still give money to any candidate or party you like. Even if you were emphatically supportive of a particular Democrat or Republican, what is the incentive to register with that party, unless you intend to run for office yourself?

Or, you could be happy with a member of either party. Personally, I think every GOP candidate is utterly unsuitable, but there are some people who would be happy to see either Obama or Rudy. I can understand why Benen would assign those people to the "no-idea-what-they're-talking-about bloc." I'd tend to give them that classification, too, but they're not all as oblivious as those voters who told pollsters they would either like Howard Dean or George Bush back in 2004.

Even if half of that 23 percent were clueless, it wouldn't surprise me a bit to learn that 12 percent or so of independents simply don't see a point to associating themselves with a party, but would still consider a vote for a candidate outside the two-party system to be a waste. I imagine there are more than a few Nader 2000 voters who wish they could go back in time (even if they won't admit it.)

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