Another Poll Shows Independent Voters Lining Up With Republicans

Yet another poll shows independent-minded voters are looking askance at Barack Obama and the Democrats.

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Yet another poll is out showing the independent-minded voters are looking askance at Barack Obama and the Democrats.

Independent Women's Voice commissioned veteran pollster Doug Schoen—the founding partner of Penn, Schoen & Berland and the American Association of Political Consultants' 1996 "Pollster of the Year"—to conduct a survey of independent voters to see how they are lining up going into the November election.

The news, the survey shows, is not good for the president and not good for Democrats worried about keeping control of Congress for another two years.

Among the survey's findings, the IWV said in a release:

  • Independents, who disproportionally voted in 2008 for Obama, are today "very discouraged about the state of politics and the direction of our country." An astonishing 70 percent of them believe the United States in now on "the wrong track" while on 18 percent see it as headed in the right direction.
  • When asked how often they felt the federal government "does what they would like it to," only 7 percent of independents said "Most of the time;" 59 percent said either "rarely" or "never."
  • More independents also see the GOP's position on key issues being closer to their own, 52 percent, than find common cause with the Democrats, 30 percent—which probably explains why, by two to one, independents now say they lean toward supporting the GOP.
  • Neither political party is especially popular with the independents, which is probably one of those things many people would ascribe to "the study of the obvious." If it were different, these same voters would probably join one of the two major political parties. Nevertheless, the IWV survey shows that, when it comes to the best way to deal with the critical issues facing the country, Independents and the GOP are both heading in the same direction.

    Independents, for example, believe that what would help most with the "national recovery" is to cut spending (65 percent) and cut taxes (45 percent)—which lines up nicely with what House Republican Leader John Boehner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell say they want to do if the voters trust their party to lead Congress for a while.

    At the same time—and this must make senior White House adviser David Axelrod positively dyspeptic—73 percent of the independents surveyed think it's important that any candidate they support in the upcoming election back the GOP idea of "repealing and replacing the healthcare legislation."

    If you're Obama or Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid, this can't be good news. Which probably explains why some Democrats—but not the White House, it says—are planning what the New York Times reports is a national campaign of television ads arguing the Tea Party is too extreme to be allowed to govern America.

    The major problem with this idea, and there are many problems with this idea, is that it sounds from this poll, at least, that what the Tea Party says should be done and what Independents want to see done are, on the big issues at least, not all that different. So, if the Times is right, the Democrats are about to embark on a strategy that will further alienate the very voters that put them in office in the first place. And they say the GOP is "the stupid party."

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