The Myth Of The Independent Voter Analysis

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Throughout the course of this semester, our political parties course covered a variety of topics. Additionally, the class took part in numerous polls, including our individual political affiliation. One finding that I particularly found interesting was that no one in the class really identified themselves as a true independent. Even though some students were more drawn to one party or the other, several students also identified themselves as weakly tied to their specific party. In class, we discussed how those individuals who are more politically informed than the average American citizen are more likely to have a stronger opinion one way or the other on politics. So, those more involved are more likely to be polarized. While in theory, this …show more content…
The rising prevalence of those who identify as independents may end up causing what could be seen as a further distance between the two main parties. Since most people tend to identify, albeit some hesitantly, towards one party or the other, people’s political beliefs begin to spread out more and more on a politically continuous spectrum. For example, “Nearly two-thirds of those who initially label themselves Independents concede that they are closer to one or the other party. These are the "leaners," "partisan Independents," or "Independent Republicans" and "Independent Democrats” (Keith, 1992). “What caused this shift towards more widespread political views?” one might ask. Well, according to the book, beginning “in the mid-1960s, the failure of political institutions, including the two parties, to achieve satisfactory solutions to the country 's most salient problems, the Vietnam War and racial conflict, led to differing opinions than traditional views (Keith, 1992). However, despite this change in political ideology, people still tend to fall on a spectrum in the party. Most individuals either strongly identify or identify with either of the two main parties. However, the majority of the remaining individuals tend to align, at least weakly, with one party or the

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