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The Rise of Independents?

Two new polls -- one by the Washington Post, the other by Pew -- shows an increase in the number of people identifying as independents, a data point that is sure to lead to speculation about the possibility of the emergence of a third party (and third party candidate) in the runup to the 2012 presidential race.

The latest Post poll shows 42 percent of the sample describing themselves as independents, more than double the number who called themselves Republicans (20 percent) and even far ahead of the 33 percent who referred to themselves as Democrats. While three of the last four Post surveys have shown the independent number over 40 percent, as recently as last year independents comprised just 31 percent.

Pew's compilation of their 2009 surveys to date showed a similar trend with self-identified independents comprising 35 percent -- the highest that group has been in Pew data since 1992 and the rise of Ross Perot. (Pew has put together a terrific chart detailing their party ID back to 1939.)

The power of unaligned voters is also being played out in races for governor of New Jersey and the special election in New York's 23rd district.

In the former, Independent Chris Daggett has rapidly moved up in polling as Gov. Jon Corzine (D) and former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (R) bash each other day in and day out.

In the latter, Conservative party nominee Doug Hoffman seems to have eclipsed state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) as the primary challenger to Democrat Bill Owens (D).

Given all of that, the chatter about a viable third party has begun to increase as independent-minded voters seem to have grown increasingly unhappy with Democrats over the first ten months of the year after siding with them over the past two election cycles.

Before we get too far down that road, it's important to remember that talk of a third party and the reality of it are too far different things.

First, while people like to describe themselves as independents, there are actually very few people who are entirely unaligned politically.

The Post polling team -- Jon "JC" Cohen and Jennifer "J-Bug" Agiesta -- did a detailed study of independents a few years back that showed deep divisions within those who describe themselves as independents.

That study showed that less than one in five (18 percent) of all independents are truly engaged, swing voters while the remainder are "disguised partisans" (24 percent), "disengaged" (24 percent), "disillusioned" (18 percent) or "dislocated" (16 percent).

That means that the vast majority of independents -- roughly eight in ten -- are not in fact the sort of people who would be building blocks for the creation of a third party.

Second, the institutional hurdles to the creation of a new party -- or even running a third party candidacy for president -- are massive.

The most basic challenges are from a financial and organizational standpoint where each national party has spent decades honing their approaches and have deeply entrenched advantages that would take years for a new party to learn.

The only answer to that problem is, as is often the case in politics, money. As Perot proved a decade and a half ago, a candidate willing to spend millions (and millions) of dollars can spend his (or her) way into credibility. (Paging Mike Bloomberg!)

Yet, even if a third party candidate does emerge in 2012 or 2016 there is no guarantee that such a candidacy would lead to the creation of a legitimate third party (Perot's candidacies, for example, did not serve as the jumping-off point for another political party.)

The rise of independents is a trend that leaders in both parties are paying close attention to as winning these unaligned voters are critical to Democratic and Republican successes in the 2010 midterms and beyond.

But, be careful not to read too much into it.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 22, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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Comments

You want a real centrist party, then unite progressives and libertarians. They represent the true right and left of this country far better than the corporate sponsored parties we have today.

Posted by: siniod | October 23, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

There already is a centrist party in this country, the Democrats. Were they a party mainly of progressives:

1) the Democrats would enact a single payer system, or strong public option, with universal health care coverage for all persons legally in this country

2) taxes on the wealthy would be substantially raised to promote social justice and reduce ever widening gap between rich and poor

3) all United States troops would be withdrawn from Iraq and most would leave Afghanistan this year.

4) spending on needed infrastructure projects would be greatly increased, which would help create millions of new jobs


Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | October 22, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

One of the parties demands ideological purity because they are a party of the fringe. I believe that many who call themselves independent are influenced by not being wished to be characterized as a narrow minded Republican.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 22, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

1911 'Daily News' 12 Jan. 2 The same day her husband's body was found on the seashore [of Naples] bearing the marks of many stiletto wounds.

==

Reminds me of that great "Jimi Hendrix on the cross at the JFK assassination" painting

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

1911 'Daily News' 12 Jan. 2 The same day her husband's body was found on the seashore [of Naples] bearing the marks of many stiletto wounds.

Posted by: edtroyhampton | October 22, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"The reality of third parties in the United States is that they're nice in theory, but fairly useless in reality. Most of the posts here refer to a "centrist party" of some sort, fiscally responsible yet socially benevolent. So...does the defense budget get cut? Is health care coverage expanded? Cap-and-trade? More regulation or less? Taxes cut or raised? For whom? Do we pull out of Afghanistan or add more troops? When do we leave Iraq? Do we close Guantanamo? What would a centrist party's positions be on these issues? Posted by: Bondosan"

The unfortunate answer to each of those questions is, "Nuanced"

A centrist party has to appeal to the political center, and, unfortunately the policies that appeal to the center are pure compromise across the board. Defense policy? About as complicated as the Pentagon. Tax policy7? Pay your bills, so have sufficient taxes, spread across income taxes, tariffs, and fees.

Being in the center, it must balance EVERY issue.

It is what stands in the way of forming such a party. Get such a party going and winning, however, and it is easier to keep going. Lke a bicycle wheel, until you get it up and turning it is unstable, but once spinning it likes to stay the course it is set.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 22, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Third parties are one of those ideas like a flat tax that keep getting brought up and never get much of anywhere. For people frustrated with partisanship and oppositionalism a third party might seem like a way to break ties or break out of the doldrums. As though there is some middle ground of eminently sensible and sober people who, given a voice, will guide American in a better direction, unbeholden to any rigid and frozen outlook.

Total conceit.

It's the same conceit as the GOP dangling bait that "you know better how to handle Your Money® than some BYOO-row-crat." Or the old Pioneer Spirit thing.

There IS no group of middle Americans enriched in common sense by being common people.

All third parties end up doing is splitting the conservative vote.

Which is fine with me.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Re: Retching Madcow

you're not paying attention.

==

So how old are you again? Twelve?

Go ahead turn that into some pedophile goad.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Mark: I agree that a fiscally conservative and socially libertarian party might have some support.

==

Panacea.

"Fiscally conservative an' socially liberal" is a little chant recited by people who think they're being bravely independent in their thinking but who end up voting GOP.

As for libertarianism, it jumped the shark decades ago when libertarians stopped caring about freedom of speech and press aqnd decided to focus on guns and enslavement. Today's libertarian has little passion for a truly free press but a lot of passion about lowering taxes on corporations.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

AndyR3 at 1:30 said he felt the purifying Conservatives would split with the GOP -- who knows who would get custody of the name. I have to agree. We could make a long list of the names of
e l e c t e d and e l e c t a b l e GOP
-- many of them not even moderates, mind you -- that have been marginalized by a bunch of people who have never been elected to nothing. The purifying will eventually mean that the GOP loses all influence or splits in order to accommodate the crowd that accepts we live in the 21st century and things do change with time.

Here's my start at a list of RINOs who are unfit to represent the GOP base.

Colin Powell, GHW Bush, Jim Thompson of IL, Specter, Collins, Snow and Voinovich, Mike Castle (was being shoved aside before he agreed to run for the Senate after a lot of reassurance from his party), Tom Ridge, Lincoln Chaffee, Billy Tauzin, Jim Leach, Christopher Shays, Lindsey Graham, Richard Lugar, Mark Kirk, Ron Paul, Lisa Murkowski....


Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 22, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

AndyR3:

Hear, hear! All of the R.'s you mentioned, and I. Chaffee are exemplary!

It's also unhealthy for a single party (obviously, the Dems. in this case) to have unopposed control which it essentially has.

Despite our talking about the Republican Party as if it hadn't shifted so far to the Right that it seems a branch of the John Birch society or the KKK, it's losing viability as we speak.

If the ultraconservative wing continues to fight moderates within their party (viz., FLA's Gov. Christ), it is doomed. It's just a question of how long the disintegration takes.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | October 22, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"For anything larger the dissonance between what you want and what you get is too obvious to miss."

Well isn't that a funny thing. This is the problem with the Independent or "moderate" concept in general. This is the problem that is shoving the Right further into orthodoxy (the fear of appeasement, the slippery slope, etc.). Last century, The Left tore itself up over their own dreams and their desire not to compromise. "principles".

Posted by: shrink2 | October 22, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The reality of third parties in the United States is that they're nice in theory, but fairly useless in reality.

Most of the posts here refer to a "centrist party" of some sort, fiscally responsible yet socially benevolent.

So...does the defense budget get cut? Is health care coverage expanded? Cap-and-trade? More regulation or less? Taxes cut or raised? For whom? Do we pull out of Afghanistan or add more troops? When do we leave Iraq? Do we close Guantanamo?

What would a centrist party's positions be on these issues?

Posted by: Bondosan | October 22, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

vote Quimby!

Posted by: millionea7 | October 22, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"Re: Retching Madcow

you're not paying attention.

Posted by: snowbama | October 22, 2009"

I see yellowsnow is still auditioning for MAD magazine with his unique brand of humor aimed at 11-year-old boys.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 22, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the posts that point out self-identified independents are not a monolithic group.

In other news, Rep Bachmann (R,MN) has endorsed Hoffman over her party's nominee (Scozzafava) in NY-23.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/scorecard/1009/Bachmann_backs_Hoffman_in_NY_23.html

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 22, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Mark: I agree that a fiscally conservative and socially libertarian party might have some support. But not all "centrists" fit that mold. So you aren't describing a generic centrist party that would unite the 42% of Independent voters, as referred to in CC's post. You're describing a new niche party with a fairly specific platform. I don't see that party becoming popular enough to really affect national elections.

Posted by: Blarg | October 22, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"A third party, based on common sense progressive principles, which the Democratic party generally lacks, would be great. However, the two established parties have essentially rigged the process to deter viable third parties. A third party has about as much chance of winning the presidency and Congress in 2012 or 2016 as the old Nationalist party has of winning elections in China within the next seven years. Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent "

It is the Constitution, and not the parties, that has rigged the system to favor just two parties over several.

The Constitution gives Congress the privilege of organizing itself as it sees fit, which means that the biggest plurality of like minded Senators and representatives organize their body as they deem appropriate, which means that a third party becomes the second party or it dies in the legislature, while the Executive, being elected by that interesting body, the electoral college, Favors the biggest plurality of ELECTORS, and in so doing works strongly against more than two major parties at a time.

Three major parties are only viable when one owns the center. Somehow we have always managed to avoid that particular political distribution of the interested.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 22, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Once again, CC misses the point. The third party will be disaffected Republicans, not Democrats. David Frum, conservative and former Bush speechwriter:

"At the beginning of the summer, most observers expected Republicans to win all three of the big elections on Nov. 3. Two weeks out, it suddenly looks very possible that Republicans will win only one: the Virginia governor's race. The other two will be lost—not to superior Democratic organizing and messaging, but to the GOP's own divisions.

By all rights, the special election in New York's 23rd Congressional District should be a Republican cakewalk. Stretching across the hunting and fishing towns along the Great Lakes and Canadian border, the district contains Fort Drum, base of the 10th Mountain division, and re-elected its Republican congressman in the disaster years of 2006 and 2008 by margins of 60-plus percent.

Yet polls show the Republican candidate in serious trouble. State Republican Party leaders prevented an open primary race and instead engineered the nomination of one of their own, moderate, pro-choice Assemblywoman Deirdre Scozzafava.

Angry conservatives in the 23rd rebelled, rallying to the third-party candidacy of local accountant Doug Hoffman. Hoffman and Scozzafava are splitting the Republican vote between them, allowing Democrat Bill Owen to emerge as the front-runner."

Name of the piece is The Coming Republican Fratricide -- what have I been telling you, people?

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Re: Retching Madcow

you're not paying attention.

Posted by: snowbama | October 22, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"Of course I meant Perot he had no idea how to become President of the United States, not that his IQ was low. As a politician, an idiot, but my point was more that Bloomberg isn't and he is gonna run. I'll betcha. The only question is whether as an I or an R. Posted by: shrink2 "

As to political IQ, Perot is a questionmark, but Bloomberg is a known quantity. Not quite zero. He can get elected in a small country like NYC, but in even a country as large as NYS he isn't there. His whole political existance at any level larger than Mayor is based on projection, not existance. The Conservatives hope he can be their conservative, the moderates hope he can be their moderate. HE is competent at the local level because every mayor who functions at all, even in the smallest town, functions because most voters can project their image of da mayor on him. For Mayor you can vote for what you want him to be and not be disappointed. For anything larger the dissonance between what you want and what you get is too obvious to miss.

Perot saw, however vaguely, the need for a centrist party, which could actually thrive, provided it was a creation of the center and not the projection of wants of some subset of the right calling itself the center.

A party that balanced fiscal prudence with Governmental service, that is having as much government as the majority wants and paying for it with the taxes required, that saw that majorities ought to be accomodated but minorities need to be accomodated as well, and that had a vision of greatness (for instance one that saw space as something other than a waste pit into which you tossed money for your supporters) could thrive, but would need constant vigilance to avoid being leveraged off to the right and shorne of all but its claims of centrist heritage.

Centrism IS a hard position to hold, because of nature it ca't thrive on philosophy that can be condensed to soundbytes that can be enunciated thrice in thirty seconds. Centrism is a political theory that requires its adherents to regularly hold two or more conflicting points of view in their collective consciousness and still function at a high degree of effectiveness.

It can be done, it has sufficient potential members to do the work of a Party, elect its candidates and populate their administrations with like minded administrators.

The only real question is are there the leaders out there with the will and the wherewithal to do it?

Posted by: ceflynline | October 22, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Lifelong Dem here now "I." The DNC Rules & ByLaws Committee meeting behind closed doors on May 31, 2008 meant there is no use in being a "D."

Posted by: Grace6 | October 22, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I have long considered myself to be an independent, who usually votes, when I vote, for some Democratic candidates. However, I became disillusioned with each of the Democrats I voted for who became president, Carter, Clinton and to a substantial extent Obama. Therefore I voted for Anderson in 1980, neither Clinton nor Dole in 1996.

More and more non-partisan individuals in this country are coming to realize neither the Democratic nor the Republican party represent their interests or beliefs on a wide host of issues. Neither seem to represent ordinary people, both seem arrogant and subservient to various powerful, occasionally overlapping, special interest groups. Obama, despite his promises to curb the influence of special interest groups, has promoted their agenda as much as any modern president. Most independents probably realize this by now.

A third party, based on common sense progressive principles, which the Democratic party generally lacks, would be great. However, the two established parties have essentially rigged the process to deter viable third parties. A third party has about as much chance of winning the presidency and Congress in 2012 or 2016 as the old Nationalist party has of winning elections in China within the next seven years.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | October 22, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the third party that does emerge will be a centrist party. I think what we will see is a center right party emerge to surplant the GOP IF they continue down their current path.

It is ridiculous that a person like Colin Powell is told by prominent politicians that he is not wanted in their party. I disagree with Colin Powell on many political issues, but I would LOVE to have him as a voice in my party. The same goes for Huntsman, Chafee, and Olympia Snowe, and I am a die hard Liberal.

I could see a situation where the GOP picks someone in 2012 that is so far to the right that the GOP centrists bolt and form a third Commonwealth party (I use that name cause I think it sounds good). Then they will try and pull some moderate Democrats who were ousted or targeted by more liberal opponents to join their cause (Liebermann, Specter, Blanche Lincoln etc).

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 22, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

WHY HAS SPRINGSTEEN MAINTAINED SILENCE ON THE NJ GOV RACE?

Surely his endorsement would generate press coverage and perhaps translate into some awareness that Christie the Springsteen fan doesn't subscribe to the Boss's world view.

Is Bruce covering his bets? He did give Christie a signed guitar (as reported in the NYT's Christie-generated puff piece):

www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/nyregion/30springsteen.html

Corzine got Caroline Kennedy to attend the Obama NJ rally yesterday. The Boss was in the area. Did he decline an invite? Or did the Corzine camp fail to ask for the business?

***

HOW HOMELAND SECURITY- ADMINISTERED 'FUSION CENTERS' USE WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE TO HARASS AND CENSOR U.S. CITIZENS

• Regional Homeland Security-administered centers such as the multi-agency facility in Newtown, PA censoring and maliciously tampering with internet telecommunications under the cover of national security?

Is Sec. Napolitano naive, misinformed, or complicit?

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-government-mandate (read thread from the bottom up.)

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled)::

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA" (see "stories" list)

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 22, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Of course I meant Perot he had no idea how to become President of the United States, not that his IQ was low. As a politician, an idiot, but my point was more that Bloomberg isn't and he is gonna run. I'll betcha. The only question is whether as an I or an R.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 22, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The study Chris cites by the Washington Post polling group basically is confirmed by decades worth of academic studies of self-identified independents.

In the Michigan National Election Studies---the largest continuous data-set on the subject---survey respondents are asked whether they identify as D, R, or Independent. If they identify as a partisan, they are asked if they consider their identification with their preferred party strong or weak. If they identify as an Independent, they are asked if they lean toward one party or another, and which one. Typically, the proportion of independents who admit leaning to one party or another is in the 65%-75% range. So only about one in three or one in four "independents" is completely lacking in a partisan preference---a "non-leaning" independent.

There have also been a large number of studies through the years which indicate that independents generally are on the whole less politically engaged, less interested in politics.

The idea of the non-partisan independent voter propagated in some quarters is actually largely a myth. Those citizens most interested and engaged in politics tend to actually take sides, choosing to prefer one party to the other.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | October 22, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

In theory, political parties choose candidates who reflect the Party's broad philosophy. The electorate then chooses one of those candidates for the office.

The American system makes the President the de facto head of his party. The lack of a viable 3rd party is due to the weakness of all parties other than the Dems or Repubs.

Ross Perot was, regrettably, a paranoid egomaniac. He revealed that on numerous occasions. Had he been less extreme-seeming, his party might have grown in viability.

But my personal opinion is that one of the two 'main' parties will have to have a major group which splits off and forms a new party to have true, country-wide viability, not just to siphon off votes from one of the main candidates.

I had originally thought it would be the Blue Dogs, but if there are any moderate R.s left, they could join with Independents such as the excellent Lincoln Chaffee of RH to do so as well.

Still, as you pointed out, that's merely the beginning. There still needs to be a lengthy period of building such a party into a truly competitive force. I doubt seriously that 2012 (or even 2016) would be early enough.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | October 22, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

mwhoke:

Can you provide some quotes to justify your labeling of Rachel Maddow a "wacko"?

Posted by: Bondosan | October 22, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, there is beginning to be some truth to your suggestion. I can ticket split all over the place but finding a coherent centrist R in TX is more difficult than finding a coherent centrist D by a distance. Chet Edwards is a D I can identify with; so is my state rep, a software millionaire and pro business D.

But a national party that actually believed in fiscal conservatism [pay-go and budget constraints; not tax cuts during wars] and social libertarianism would be more appealing than you allow. It would not need a long platform. It would demand testing any new government run social program in test cases, for years, before national rollouts of ambitious spending. It would support proven methodologies and it would respect the states as laboratories. It would sunset most legislation.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 22, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The recent rise in Independents is largely due to conservatives who can no longer stomach the modern GOP.

That's a self-reinforcing trend, especially when coupled with the GOP move towards closed primaries.

Hard to see what can turn that around.

Posted by: nodebris | October 22, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

We'll never get a viable third party because the two parties in power refuse to take the money out of the equation. end of story.

Posted by: datdamwuf2 | October 22, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

so Chris is using data from a "study" done a few years ago and thinks it's relevant?
Independents were a big part of last year's election, and they should be. How can ones' vote be secret when you have to publically register as a certain party voter? It's a huge country of 300 million people, there could not possibly be only two mindsets. And with a country of this size, "small government" is a ridiculous fantasy, thrown as red meat to people fighting change out of fear stoked by idealogues who fear losing their powerful positions. the word conservative comes down to anti-change, which means stagnation and decay.

Posted by: katem1 | October 22, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

There's never going to be a centrist party, because "centrist" is a meaningless term. A centrist party would have no coherent policy, no constituency, and no committed supporters.

An individual candidate can be centrist by picking a combination of left and right positions, like Ross Perot did. But you can't build a party out of Perots. In the end, ideology matters. A party based on "none of the above" can't survive for more than one or two elections, because it's inherently unstable.

Besides, we already have a centrist party. They're called the Democrats.

Posted by: Blarg | October 22, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Shrink2, an attack on Perot's emotional suitability would not have caught my attention, but the guy was/is brilliant. Go watch a video of his presentation on the budget in '92. Read a transcript of his criticism of General Motors. Learn how he actually masterminded a rescue from Iran.
Read how he built EDS.

Admission: I voted for BigEars twice.
--------------------------------------------
CC, I noticed you think these are mainly disaffected Ds. I am sure there is a dD component. But if R self-ID is down around 20% there must be a lot of dRs, too. Some of my clients are dRs; embarrassed by the social right but in no way interested in the D Party as a new home. They seem to me to be more fertile ground.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 22, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"Yet, even if a third party candidate does emerge in 2012 or 2016 there is no guarantee that such a candidacy would lead to the creation of a legitimate third party (Perot's candidacies, for example, did not serve as the jumping-off point for another political party.)"

The American Reform Party SHOULD have become established, as they actually tried to get into Congressional and state contests. The Republicans bought the party out in 2000 to insure that the ARP didn't cut down GWB the way it did GHWB in 1992.

For the first perhaps decade of the life of any new centrist party, that party has to stay pretty much closed to the uninvited or face just such a buy out when it becomes a threat to the republican party, which can't stand the competition and has the money and the manpower to do it.

The Next Ross Perot has lots of material to work with, like Lincoln Chaffee, or the Senators from Maine, should he decide to have another Wigwam convention and fire up a real Party.

Of course, that Party needs to concentrate on building the Legislative side of its candidate slate, fielding virtually whatever nebish it finds available to run for president in the early years, because Party building reallymeans building the supporters who will never get much higher than dog catcher or ward healer in their political carreer, but are the real body and soul of a political party. The ability to draw a party out of the disaffecteds, disengaged, and disillusions, as well as the great unvoted masses, is what a Perot or a Bloomberg needs. Perot actually had something of that ability. Nothing Bloomberg has done so far suggests that HE can do it.

Still, a real centrist party, once organizd, could be the elected party for a couple generations, PROVIDED it IS a real centrist party. the 40% of the voters in the center always outnumber the 60% of the voters on the wings, because the 60% on the wings is 30% and 30% and will never unify for any cause conceivabhle.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 22, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Perot was an idiot, Bloomberg is not.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 22, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I consider myself an independent voter. If I rated myself it would be center/right.

I feel that the United States needs a strong military and intelligence service.

I do not believe we can tax and spend ourselves out of every problem that the country faces nor should every interest group receive favorable treatment from the government.

I encourage alternate fuel uses but I also believe that until they are economically feasible that we should allow drilling for oil in areas that are currently off limits.

I love the environment but I am not a tree hugger.

I believe in a woman's right to choose, even though I am a Catholic.

I believe in hunting but I also believe in the right of government to control firearms, especially assault weapons.

I believe in free speech but I do not believe it allows those on the far left or the far right to impose their views on others.

I think Glenn Beck, Rachel Maddow, Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann are "wacko's" who should be ignored.

I wish that the media would report the news without slanting it in favor of either political spectrum.

I would love to see a third party that espouses common sense remedies to the problems that our Country faces and is not beholding to the far left or the far right.

Posted by: mwhoke | October 22, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure that the repubs will find a wildly popular succesful candidate.

I know the dems won't.

Posted by: snowbama | October 22, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

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