WaPo – Since 2004, the number of what we’ll call “pure” independents — which is to say, those who aren’t leaning in one direction or the other — has increased slightly.
This is a long-term trend, but it clearly overlaps with what we’re seeing in the presidential race. People may consistently vote for Republicans, but they would rather call themselves “independents.” There’s an appeal to being an outsider and to outsider politics that’s reflected in how people see themselves.
But when the general election rolls around, those Republican-leaning independents will very likely vote for the Republican.
Same goes for the Dems. Despite talk of “33% of Sanders supporters won’t…” the actual party loss is single digit.
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