A quick note on party identification: independents play an important role in American politics. As of February 2007, the Pew Center found that 34% of respondents identified themselves as Democrats, 25% as Republicans -- and a full third, 34%, as independents. True, these numbers shift somewhat if independents are asked how they "lean" -- giving Democrats a 50-35% advantage and just 15% as "true" independents.
But "leaners," and independents generally, are fluid in their preferences. In 2004, independents tended to vote for Bush and the Republicans; in 2006 they went overwhelmingly with the Democrats, helping that party recapture Congress. How they break in 2008 will matter greatly for the outcome of the presidential race.
See here for these figures and some interesting trendlines, 1987-2007.
Monday, 28 January 2008
Election News Extra
More analysis on the weekend's election developments soon - but for now, Andy Rudalevige writes: