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With a growing number of voters (20%) unaffiliated with any political party

politicians will become more responsive to voters' real concerns 38% 46 votes
radical ideas will take hold 11% 14 votes
additional parties will arise 14% 17 votes
talk show hosts will become more powerful 5% 7 votes
PACs will become more powerful 29% 35 votes
119 total votes

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

I believe the Libertarian party might begin to lead the way.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2012 at 12:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

AZ: I hope so. I have been registered with them for years.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I got all optimistic and voted for (A).

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2012 at 3:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So did I.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2012 at 9:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think the Ron Paul revolution has definitely left its mark.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2012 at 10:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As someone who has refused to register with a party since being eligible to vote, I also got optimistic.

What I fear though, is that rather than being more responsive to voters politicians will gradually become even more responsive to money. Until their election is based on the power of the voter rather than how much money they can raise I don't think that trend will ever change.

Num1UofAn (anonymous profile)
April 27, 2012 at 10:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

None of the above.

It's worth noting the following:

1. When pollsters call and ask for party affilliation, they're often not asking you how you're registered. They're asking who you identify with (who you "like" at the moment).

2. The "independent" label that pollsters refer to are often just that ... a self-imposed label. It doesn't imply you are the mythical and wise voter who is rational, studies the issues, considers only facts, then makes a thoughtful decision (if only that were true!).

3. Pollsters note that increasing use of the "independent" label is often an indication voters are feeling disengaged or are disheartened with politics.

4. When pushed to offer an opinion, most "independents" will lean either Democrat or Republican. Only a fraction of those polled are truly "independent". A Gallup poll from Jan 2012 indicated from a lean perspective, we are a split nation with 45% leaning Democrat, 45% leaning Republican, and only 10% affirming they are neither.

5. The above is a big change from the 50's - 60's when "lean" nationwide was towards the Democrats. Some of this is related to the huge shift in politics of the deep south with the rise of the civil liberties movement.

In summary, I think the latest poll data (from Gallup and/or Rasmussen, they didn't say) just tells us more Americans are dissatisfied with politics.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 27, 2012 at 5:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If you are a moderate Democrat or a moderate Republican, what may offer you hope is the fact that we have an open primary coming up in June (top two regardless of party).

But if you're pulling for a 3rd-party candidate (e.g. Libertarian, Green) you're screwed because your candidate won't make it into the general election.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 27, 2012 at 5:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Just read the paper version of the Indy ... this poll does not refer to a nationwide Gallup/Rasmussen poll.

It refers to Jerry Roberts' latest column, "Political Arithmetic":

http://www.independent.com/news/2012/...

The 20% number refers to just-released CA voter registration statistics.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 28, 2012 at 1:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hopefully a third party will emerge that truly represents the center-right makeup of most of the U.S. according to a variety of polls over the past decade. Financial responsibility, individual responsibilty, rule of law, and social tolerance.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
April 29, 2012 at 9:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ron Paul's position on abortion is unfortunately a fatal flaw in his candidacy. Abortion opponents who refer to their position as "pro-life" refuse to acknowledge the reality that we have insufficient resources to provide health care, food and housing necessary to sustain the lives of those in our current population, and that an increase in our population resulting from a ban on abortion is actually an "anti-life" position.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
April 29, 2012 at 10:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hopefully a third party will emerge that truly represents the center-Left makeup of most of the U.S. according to a variety of polls over the past decade. Financial responsibility, individual responsibilty, rule of law, and social inclusion.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 29, 2012 at 10:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I doubt we will ever move away from a two-party system in the US unless voting rules are changed (i.e. not winner-take-all).

The US has a defacto two party system and we've gotten by OK until lately. Why?

According to two long-time Washington scolars, the spirit of compromise and cooperation that existed in the past both in the House of Representatives and the Senate ... have evaporated. If you can get past the title of this article, this is an interesting read. One author is from the well-respected Brookings Institute and the other is from the conservative American Enterprise Instutute:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinion...

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 29, 2012 at 12:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@ken-volok: Close enough for me - I won't quibble over labels if the principles are right. Not quite sure what your distinction between tolerance and inclusion is, though. If someone tolerates all, but would rather not include some in one's social circle, that seems ok to me. I, for example, would prefer not include religious fanatics (whether the religion is politics, gun control, or an actual religion) in my social circle, but am willing to tolerate the existence of their views.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
April 29, 2012 at 4 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The Consul

Opera Santa Barbara presents "The Consul" by Gian-Carlo Menotti. Read More