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Independents have been involved in the political process since the beginning of the American political process, and they have stayed mostly in the range of 30%. The recorded highest identification of independents was reached in 2011 when 40% reported to Gallup that they were an independent voter. Gallup attributed the increase in these voters for three main reasons: the ailing economy, increased lack of faith in the government, and unfavorable views to path parties.

Why are some independent voters refusing to register with a political party? It’s hard to say, but as Professor Danny Hayes says, most of these self-identifiers lean toward one of the two major parties and note for major party candidates.

The past century has shown that independent voters have been growing and catching the media’s attention. The history of their ascendency to the center of the political stage make them a prize to be won by both sides of the political aisle in what is arguably the most partisan climate in recent year.

We would like to thank Professor Nelson for her work on Myth of the Independent Voter (1992), which was essential to our research and analyses.

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