The "Moderate Independents" and Why They Matter

Over the last several months, frequent headlines point to the increasing number of Independent voters in the country as a tell-tale sign that more of the American electorate is up for grabs. On the other hand, evidence shows that many “Independents” are in fact ideologically conservative and likely to be disaffected Republicans.

Both analyses miss a vital group: True “Moderate Independents” – voters who do not align themselves with either party and also consider themselves ideologically between the two parties. Although they comprise just 5 percent of the electorate, they also promise to have outsized impact in 2016.

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