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Old 07-01-2007, 3:41 PM
David David is offline
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Default Americans are so Ready for Change in Two Party Stranglehold

The Washington Post has done a great job chronicling the "independent" or "swing" voter. These are people, in many cases, just sick of the two party stranglehold. David Broder writes a column on the phenomenon.

I am convinced the dynamic is there for a third party movement. However, I don't think it's Bloomberg. But, this dynamic of "post partisan" politics is upon us. Most Americans are not Liberals or Conservatives. They want leadership, honesty and efficiency. They don't see any hope in finding that with the two current parties. thus the low approval ratings for Bush and the even lower approval ratings for Congress. Wash Post
The study is a comprehensive examination of a broad segment of the electorate -- about three in 10 voters call themselves independents -- that is poised to play the role of political power broker in 2008. Independents split their votes between President Bush and Kerry in 2004 but shifted decisively to the Democrats in 2006, providing critical support in the Democratic takeover of the House and the Senate.

The new survey underscores the Republican Party's problems heading into 2008. Fueled by dissatisfaction with the president and opposition to the Iraq war, independents continue to lean heavily toward the Democrats. Two-thirds said the war is not worth fighting, three in five said they think the United States cannot stabilize Iraq, and three in five believed that the campaign against terrorism can succeed without a clear victory in Iraq.

The power of independents could also be felt in other ways next year. The survey found frustration with political combat in Washington and widespread skepticism toward the major parties -- perhaps enough to provide the spark for an independent candidacy by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Seventy-seven percent of independents said they would seriously consider an independent presidential candidate, and a majority said they would consider supporting Bloomberg, whose recent shift in party registration from Republican to unaffiliated stoked speculation about a possible run in 2008.

Strategists and the media variously describe independents as "swing voters," "moderates" or "centrists" who populate a sometimes-undefined middle of the political spectrum. That is true for some independents, but the survey revealed a significant range in the attitudes and the behavior of Americans who adopt the label.

The Post-Kaiser-Harvard study was designed to probe more deeply into this increasingly influential portion of the electorate: who these voters are, why they remain independent, what they think about major issues and, of particular importance, how they differ from one another.
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Old 07-01-2007, 3:44 PM
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Broder. Wash Post
SOURCE
Pledging Allegiance to No One in Particular

By David S. Broder
Sunday, July 1, 2007; B03

From his perch in Sacramento, insulated from speculation that he might run for president because he is ineligible as a naturalized citizen, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger thinks he knows exactly what voters are looking for in the next occupant of the White House.

"People want bold leadership," he said in a phone interview last week, "somebody who is clear in his or her views, who can make tough decisions and who will reach across the aisle to address the important issues -- health care, immigration, public safety, climate change and the rest -- someone who has a vision and a plan for the future, well beyond the next election."

Schwarzenegger, a Republican sharing power at the state capitol with a Democratic legislature and operating in what he calls a "post-partisan" environment, has seen his approval scores soar to 65 percent among likely voters in the latest survey, even as he has tackled such touchy issues as stem cell research, pollution control, prison construction and health insurance reform. Voters "admire you when you are willing to talk about difficult issues," he said. "Politicians think you have to be careful when dealing with powerful interests, but really you've got to be daring."

Skeptics may argue that what works for the onetime bodybuilder and action-movie star would be risky for anyone else. But Schwarzenegger's prescription tracks pretty well with the views of independent voters in a survey conducted by The Washington Post in conjunction with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University. (Detailed findings of the survey of more than 2,000 voters, including more than 1,000 self-described independents, are reported on the front page of today's Post.)
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Old 07-01-2007, 5:03 PM
luknikfan luknikfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Broder. Wash Post
SOURCE
Pledging Allegiance to No One in Particular

By David S. Broder
Sunday, July 1, 2007; B03

From his perch in Sacramento, insulated from speculation that he might run for president because he is ineligible as a naturalized citizen, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger thinks he knows exactly what voters are looking for in the next occupant of the White House.

"People want bold leadership," he said in a phone interview last week, "somebody who is clear in his or her views, who can make tough decisions and who will reach across the aisle to address the important issues -- health care, immigration, public safety, climate change and the rest -- someone who has a vision and a plan for the future, well beyond the next election."

Schwarzenegger, a Republican sharing power at the state capitol with a Democratic legislature and operating in what he calls a "post-partisan" environment, has seen his approval scores soar to 65 percent among likely voters in the latest survey, even as he has tackled such touchy issues as stem cell research, pollution control, prison construction and health insurance reform. Voters "admire you when you are willing to talk about difficult issues," he said. "Politicians think you have to be careful when dealing with powerful interests, but really you've got to be daring."

Skeptics may argue that what works for the onetime bodybuilder and action-movie star would be risky for anyone else. But Schwarzenegger's prescription tracks pretty well with the views of independent voters in a survey conducted by The Washington Post in conjunction with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University. (Detailed findings of the survey of more than 2,000 voters, including more than 1,000 self-described independents, are reported on the front page of today's Post.)
I think a fiscally conservative, anti-amnesty, strong military supporter - but opponent of Iraq on strageic grounds - who is moderate on social issues could pose a threat to both the GOP and the Dems. if the person were funded and allowed into the debates.

Unfortunately, as to the Dem and GOP candidates currently, none fits that bill.
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Old 07-02-2007, 6:01 PM
flaja flaja is offline
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I don’t foresee mainline liberals ever leaving the Democrat Party.

I don’t foresee the GOP ever nominating a candidate that would be unsuitable for the libertarians so the libertarians will never leave the Republican Party.

The ultra-leftwing fringe will always have the Greens.

The only swing voter I see is the legitimate conservative who is fed up with the Republicans.
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by flaja View Post
I don’t foresee the GOP ever nominating a candidate that would be unsuitable for the libertarians so the libertarians will never leave the Republican Party.
With record government spending by the GOP, along with foreign policy, I don't see how this fits.

Quote:
The only swing voter I see is the legitimate conservative who is fed up with the Republicans.
A lot of people are fed up with the GOP--not just legitimate conservatives. Consequencially, I see more swing voters. The ultra-left greens are apt to swing towards the Dems if it means the GOP will be defeated. The libertarians might not be able to stomach the Dems, so might swing towards the libertarian candidate rather than vote for a RINO. Legitimate conservatives really have nowhere to "swing" to.
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Old 07-03-2007, 6:38 AM
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Originally Posted by seattlegal View Post
With record government spending by the GOP, along with foreign policy, I don't see how this fits.


A lot of people are fed up with the GOP--not just legitimate conservatives. Consequencially, I see more swing voters. The ultra-left greens are apt to swing towards the Dems if it means the GOP will be defeated. The libertarians might not be able to stomach the Dems, so might swing towards the libertarian candidate rather than vote for a RINO. Legitimate conservatives really have nowhere to "swing" to.
We've had record federal spending and an interventionist foreign policy for most of the past 27 years. If the libertarians haven't left the GOP by now, they are not going to. I don't think libertarians really care about spending as long they get tax cuts, big business gets to do anything it wants to do and GOP politicians never deal with social issues like abortion and marriage.

The two major components of the GOP are libertarians and social conservatives. Who else is there to be upset with the GOP?

The Democrats couldn't nominate a candidate suitable for the Greens without alienating the rest of the country. The Greens have run a candidate in (I think) at least the last 2 elections and in the 2000 election they could have easily defeated the Republican by swinging their votes to the Democrat in Florida; Nader, as the Green Party candidate received over 97,000 votes in Florida. Even a fraction of these votes could have given the state and the White House to Gore.

The Libertarian Party has had a long history of declining vote totals in presidential elections. It isn’t likely that many small l libertarians in the GOP will defect to the Libertarian Party.

Legitimate conservatives may someday swing to a party of their own creation, but more likely their swing will simply be to stay at home as they did in 1998 and 2006.
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