Many voters have already made up their minds about whom they will vote for in November. Indeed, for the reddest of the red and the bluest of the blue, there was never any doubt about how they would cast their ballots. But interestingly, as the country has grown more and more polarized over the past half century, more and more voters have rejected partisan identities altogether, choosing to call themselves Independents. Some polls put the number of Independent voters as high as four in 10 today, which means that the next president will be the candidate who captures the minds of this vast middle.
But who are these so-called Independents? And how many true Independents are there? Some self-labeled Independents will concede, if nudged by pollsters, that they “lean” toward Democrats or toward Republicans, but many more insist they are truly objective, above the partisan fray, ruggedly self-reliant, like the nation’s pioneers. How do they manage to rise above party politics while the rest of the electorate is divided by ideology?
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