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Friday, December 23, 2011

Voters Leave Political Parties But Independents Lean Toward Conservative

By Susan Duclos

USA Today reports that voters are leaving the Republican and Democratic parties in droves.

A USA TODAY analysis of state voter registration statistics shows registered Democrats declined in 25 of the 28 states that register voters by party. Republicans dipped in 21 states, while independents increased in 18 states.

The trend is acute in states that are key to next year's presidential race. In the eight swing states that register voters by party, Democrats' registration is down by 800,000 and Republicans' by 350,000. Independents have gained 325,000.

There are still more registered Democrats than there are Republicans and Independents have gained significantly.

The good news for Republicans here comes from a Pew Research poll in September 2011, that shows "All Voters" and "Independents" lean towards conservatism, not liberalism.

Click image to enlarge

Swing states are going to be critical in the 2012 presidential election and according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States Poll, in December 2011, "Sixty-one percent of Republicans say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for president next year, compared with 47% of Democrats."

Among the most enthusiastic are some of the GOP's core voters: conservatives, middle-aged men and those 50 to 64 years old. Those who are least enthused include core Democratic groups that were critical to Obama's election in 2008, including minorities and younger voters.

If these numbers hold in the swing states, this will largely negate the lead Democrats have in the amount of Democrats registered compared to Republicans, leaving Independents to a very important voting bloc for deciding the 2012 presidential election.