Poll: Independents Want Government To Do More

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Charlie Cook runs the numbers and sees the tide turning against the “less government” crowd.

From National Journal:

Why is this important? Because independent voters are the ones who matter most in American politics. More than 90 percent of Democratic voters can be expected to vote Democratic, just as more than 90 percent of Republicans reliably vote Republican. In a bad year for Republicans, such as 2006, voters who call themselves Republican voted for GOP candidates over Democratic candidates by 91 percent to 8 percent. Last year, a great one for the GOP, Republican voters stuck with the party by 95 percent to 4 percent. In 2006, a great year for Democrats, party members voters cast their ballots for Democrats by 93 percent to 7 percent; last year, the numbers were 92 percent to 7 percent.

It’s not about defections, and it isn’t so much about turnout either. In 2006, 38 percent of all voters called themselves Democrats and 36 percent called themselves Republicans. In 2010, it was 36 percent for each party. The big difference was that independents in 2006 swung from backing Democrats over Republicans (by 57 percent to 39 percent), to preferring Republicans last November (by 56 percent to 38 percent). The swing in both elections was 18 points.

All the usual caveats apply…it’s just one poll…blah blah blah, but looks like this has been a pretty decent indicator as to how independents vote in the past couple elections and there’s nothing to suggest anything is changing now.

More as it develops…