No, they’re not just discouraged Republicans.
They’re people that reelect radical hyper-partisans into the Senate Majority Leader position with whom they disagree on an array of issues because they’ve been successfully snookered into believing a farcical strawman.
I’ve never been able to wrap my head around indep voting. Common sense tells me the indy voter would reflect the opposite direction of the partisan breakdown (i.e. as D’s fall out of favor, D’s become indeps and Indeps become R’s, net effect being Indeps more reflect D’s when the R’s are surging, and visa versa). But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Indys consistently reflect the general trend of the election, at least in terms of voting. When D’s are hot, Indys vote D (1992, 1996, 2008), When R’s are surging, indies vote for R’s (1980, 1984, 1988, 2004).
That said, what is obvious is the indy vote is a very accurate indicator for where an election is heading. A high single digit/ low double digit lead for portends a solid Romney win.
When I moved to Maryland, I registered “Independent” out of disgust with a Republican party that nominated John McCain (and wound up not voting at all). A couple of months ago, I changed back to Republican because the Democrat party has descended into an evil so deep that the alternative will always be lesser.
As an interesting aside, Maryland no longer has “Independent” as a choice. One is either a Republican, a member of the Democrat Party, or “Unaffiliated.”
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