While politicians and media place a heavy emphasis on winning over independent voters, their numbers are fewer and their impact is more minimal than previously thought, according to a new survey.
Less than 10 percent of Americans are truly independent voters, according to a survey by Pew Research Center.
That’s despite the fact that 38 percent of Americans identify as independent. A large share (81 percent) of those so-called independents tend to lean toward one party or the other.
Ultimately, this means the truly on-the-fence independent can be tough to find – and fairly indifferent to politics and voting.
Truly independent constituents (in grey) are few in number and less likely to vote, according to Pew Research Center. The majority of self-identified independents lean Republican or Democrat
‘Independents often are portrayed as political free agents with the potential to alleviate the nation’s rigid partisan divisions,’ according to the Pew report. ‘Yet the reality is that most independents are not all that ‘independent’ politically.’
‘And the small share of Americans who are truly independent — less than 10 percent of the public has no partisan leaning — stand out for their low level of interest in politics,’ the report said.
In fact, just about a third of surveyed respondents who truly didn’t lean toward a political party actually voted in the midterms. By comparison, 48 percent of Democratic-leaning independents voted, as did 54 percent of Republican-leaners.
Americans are more likely to identify as ‘Independent’ than either of the two major political parties in America: 31 percent of Americans describe themselves as Democrats and 26 percent as Republicans.
Men make up more than half (55 percent) of true independents – a higher share of men than is found among Republicans (51 percent) and Democrats (40 percent).
Independents who don’t lean toward any particular party are the least likely to vote in elections, a new survey finds
Republican-leaning independents are predominately men (64 percent), while Democrat-leaners are evenly split between the two genders.
Independents also tend to be younger than their more politically devoted counterparts.
Donald Trump’s job rating among independents was lower than that of his recent predecessors, coming in at 34 percent in 2017 and 2018.
By comparison, Obama’s approval rating among independents was 50 percent in 2009 and 42 percent in 2010.
Trumps rating among non-leaning independents was about 25 percent, while 58 percent disapproved of the job he did in his first two years.
Independents disapprove of Trump’s proposal for a wall to stem immigration at the Southern U.S. border (62 percent, compared to 36 percent who approve.
However, the picture is more complicated when leaners are broken out. Three-quarters of Republican-leaning independents favor the wall, while 95 percent of Democrat-leaning independents oppose the project.