Independent voters are at the center (though not necessarily centr-IST!) of the current firestorm going on in the country over healthcare, socialism, war, and nearly every other issue around. I was reading Jonathan Weisman’s article in the WSJ yesterday (see below) and was struck by some of the questions that the NBC/WSJ poll asked voters. Here’s one:
“What is your preference for the outcome of next year’s congressional elections–a Congress controlled by Republicans or a Congress controlled by Democrats?”
Obviously we live in a 2-party system, so that would be the question. But that doesn’t have to be the question, and it ought not be the question. Imagine a poll that asked voters “What is your preference for the outcome of the next year’s congressional elections–a Congress controlled by hacks and partisan shills for the major parties, or people who care about the future of the country?”
Another question in this survey asks:
“When it comes to the partisanship going on in Washington, do you feel this is mainly due to an unwillingness of the Republicans to compromise and find a middle ground to work with the Democrats, or that this is due to an unwillingness of the Democrats to compromise and find a middle ground to work with the Republicans, or do you feel that it is equally the fault of both parties?”
Skipping past the fact that whose fault it is simply doesn’t make a difference, the answers from voters were interesting: Since February, those who think it’s the Repubs’ fault has gone down from 29% to 22%; those who believe the Dems are at fault has stayed practically even going from 14% to 15% in that time span; and those who think it’s the fault of both parties? You guessed it — starting with a majority of 56% in Feb., it’s now 61%. Voters identifying as Strictly Independent, or Independent/ leaning Democrat or Republican made up 43% of the survey respondents.
Here are my picks for the week’s news for indies:
- Poll Reflects Afghan War Doubts-Obama Slips on Foreign Policy, but Gains on Health-Care and Economic Fronts (By JONATHAN WEISMAN, Wall Street Journal) As the 2010 election cycle heats up, independent voters now favor Republican control of Congress by four percentage points.
- NBC/WSJ: OBAMA HEALTH #S INCH UP (From NBC’s Mark Murray)
- Job One-The only way Obama can pull his presidency back from the brink. (John B. Judis, The New Republic)
- ANALYSIS-ACORN scandal not seen rubbing off on Obama (Reuters)
- The Most Important Number in Politics Today (Chris Cillizza, Washington Post/The Fix)
- Obama’s Leadership Qualities Stand Out to Americans (by Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup) Democrats’ views have barely changed (90% in April vs. 88% today), while Republicans’ (38% vs. 21%) and independents’ (63% vs. 50%) ratings are down more than 10 points each.
- Obama Policies Turn Off Independents (By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers/US News & World Report)
- Regulating King Kong and Crackpot Theory in Talk/Talk with Fred Newman and Jackie Salit, at independentvoting.org. Also check out the letter that independentvoting has sent to Obama asking him to appoint independents to the FEC.
Read more news for independents at The Hankster