Declarations of Independence: The New Independent Majority

A new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds independent affiliation at an all time high. 43% of respondents identified themselves as independents, as opposed to 32% who called themselves Democrats, and the 21% who said they are Republicans. Taken together Republicans and Democrats barely constitute an absolute majority. These are the "dead-enders" of the duopoly parties. Via Septimus, at the Whig:
Both parties face a fundamental challenge: Democratic allegiance has slipped to a two-year low in this poll and Republican affiliation is back near its lowest ever; instead 43 percent of Americans now identify themselves as independents, the most since ABC/Post polls began 28 years ago . . . While the Republicans have moved closer to Obama on some issues, they haven't gained in allegiance overall. Just 21 percent of Americans in this poll identify themselves as Republicans, matching the number in April and the fewest since the record low in ABC/Post polls, 19 percent in September 1983.

Instead, as noted, the number identifying themselves as Democrats has slipped to 32 percent, compared with averages of 35 percent this year and 36 percent in 2008. The previous high for independents, now 43 percent, was 41 percent in July and in an early 1996 poll. The number of independents wasn't so high last month (34 percent), leaving the durability of these readings unclear. But it certainly doesn't make the task of partisan persuasion easier for either side.

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