Once the GOP selects their nominee, those independent voters may well decide to drift back to the GOP.
"With so many factors, including the economy, we're still a long way out from November. It's going to take some time for that to come into focus," she says.
Doherty notes that the Republican race has been characterized by volatility. "If you look at the history of this race, change has been the only constant," he says. "They're the key voting bloc and the opinion among independent voters is particularly fluid at this stage in a campaign where it's relatively early. They are still very much up for grabs."
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