July 1, 2007

Who are these so-called independents?

WaPo reports on a big study of the what's really going on under that label:
Five categories of independents emerged from the analysis of the survey results:

"Deliberators," who are classic swing voters.

"Disillusioned," who are acutely upset with politics today.

"Dislocated," who are both social liberals and fiscal conservatives.

"Disguised," who are partisans on the left and right who behave almost identically to Democrats or Republicans.

"Disengaged," who generally sit on the political sidelines.
Can I be 4 of those? thinks the pesky independent -- who will always deny being a closet partisan. But then, that would be part of the closet partisan game.
Unlike most other independents, the Deliberators are generally satisfied with the political system and have positive views of the two parties....

The Disillusioned are highly dissatisfied with the political system. Nine in 10 said the two-party system does not work for them. Many volunteered that "neither party" better represents their views on important issues, including more than seven in 10 who said so about their position on Iraq....

The ideologically Dislocated are far more likely to say that the Democrats better represent their views on social issues, while a majority asserted that the government in Washington is doing too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. They are also the least religious of any of the five groups.

Disguised partisans generally walk and talk like Democrats or Republicans -- sometimes with even more passion. They reject party labels but usually back one side or the other....

The Disengaged make up about a quarter of all independents and typically have little or no interest in politics. They are the least likely to be registered to vote, the most likely to have at most a high school education, and the youngest of any group. Four in 10 are younger than 30.
Actually, I'm easily categorizable as "dislocated." I wonder what's going on with that "least religious" angle. It's easy to articulate a theory that would annoy people.

19 comments:

Adrian said...

"Unlike most other independents, the Deliberators are generally satisfied with the political system and have positive views of the two parties...."
Now if there's one group that shouldn't be allowed to vote...

Dislocateds are definitely where it's at.

Tim said...

This isn't exactly news - voters within parties are hardly monolithic - so why should independents be so? Voters' views tend to be analogue, while the decision making process is digital. Funny, how that leads to distortion.

Bissage said...

I aspire to be one of the Disengaged.

P. Rich said...

And the discombobulated...?

Kirby Olson said...

I think of the two parties as genocidal lynch mobs. The Democrats want to lynch white male Christians. The Republicans want to lynch everybody else.

Since I'm a white male Christian I like the Republicans because if they win total power I'll survive the first cut.

I'd be the first in the camps if the Democrats won everything.

If the Republicans won everything I'd probably survive the first purge. In the second purge when Catholics and Lutherans went into the ovens, I'd probably be dead. But it would buy me ten years or so to get out of the country.

So add a sixth group -- those who are terrified of the two major parties and alarmed by the scapegoating that they represent.

I'd like to see the emergence of a parliamentary system so that more parties could emerge to balance the two major lynch mobs that are calling themselves parties.

peter hoh said...

Disillusioned? How about disgusted? Some of us never -- at least not in our grown-up lives -- held illusions about politicians.

steve simels said...

Still here.

Internet Ronin said...

And the discombobulated...?

Muddling along. Muddling along. (when not part of Peter Hoh's "digusted" faction.)

blake said...

Dislocated represent!

blake said...

Although, it should be noted, that the Dems are way beyond socially liberal and the Reps are way beyond fiscally responsible.

The Dems seem to want to marginalize the mainstream, and the Reps (of course) proved that fiscal responsibility isn't nearly so appealing when you're the one with the checkbook.

Galvanized said...

My bet is that most fall in the "disillusioned" category. They are all in need of a major overhaul. Politics today seems to be a labyrinth of policies and associations between businesses and lobbyists and religious affiliations that one cannot claim to clearly support one party. I'm looking for the "fiscally responsible/do-gooder/environmental alternatives/corporate pocket-free/vote w. conscience on each bill w. no standing affiliations/defend our borders party" - know which that is? That's right -- it doesn't exist.

Paco Wové said...

1/3rd each from columns A, B, and C for me, thanks.

mrs whatsit said...

Huh. I guess I am Dislocated. But I would have guessed maybe Discombobulated, or Disgusted, or Disconcerted.

Why doesn't the Dislocated blurb say anything about Foreign Policy, I wonder?

blake said...

Why doesn't the Dislocated blurb say anything about Foreign Policy, I wonder?

It would double the number of categories (at least).

Steven said...

The vast majority of so-called "independents" fall in the "Disguised" category. And most of those are Liberals, who think they are "above labels."

See also: "progressive"

bearbee said...

So add a sixth group -- those who are terrified of the two major parties and alarmed by the scapegoating that they represent.

Disillusioned here, but I see I could easily become part of the sixth group. Since we need a 'D' word, I suggest Demoralized, Discouraged, Disheartened, or Dispirited

Emy L. Nosti said...

Color me disillusioned, dislocated, and bearbee's new group, then.

But that description of fiscal conservatism doesn't seem quite right...isn't that definition closer to economic liberalism or something? Anyway, neither party seems capable of fiscal restraint and thus neither represents me here.

Ben Masel said...

Add the Gridlock voter, who seeks to keep either Party from controlling the Presidence plus the Congress.

Simon said...

I agree with Steve - I'd want to know what all these percentages look like when you factor out so-called "disguised" independents, i.e. partisans by any other name.