Democrats, Republicans losing ground on voter affiliation

posted at 12:40 pm on December 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

You know that Democrats and Republicans have a problem when the question becomes: Which of the two major political parties has turned off more voters since the 2008 elections?  As it turns out, it’s the Democrats, but that doesn’t mean the Republicans have gained:

More than 2.5 million voters have left the Democratic and Republican parties since the 2008 elections, while the number of independent voters continues to grow.

A USA TODAY analysis of state voter registration statistics shows registered Democrats declined in 25 of the 28 states that register voters by party. Republicans dipped in 21 states, while independents increased in 18 states.

That seems unusual, especially in states that require party affiliation.  Usually that requirement relates to access to primary ballots, although not always; only 12 states have closed primaries now.  Under those circumstances, one might expect to see an increase in party affiliation, especially for the party whose primaries are meaningful in the presidential election, as the GOP has right now.  Instead, both parties are losing ground, which USA Today reasonably analyzes as deep dissatisfaction with the political status quo.

In the swing states, though, it’s Democrats who are losing more ground, by more than a 2-1 ratio:

The trend is acute in states that are key to next year’s presidential race. In the eight swing states that register voters by party, Democrats’ registration is down by 800,000 and Republicans’ by 350,000. Independents have gained 325,000.

USA Today calls this part of a “decades-long trend,” which is almost certainly true, and that the trend has given independents more stature in national elections, which is almost certainly not true.  Richard Wold cites Ralph Nader and Ross Perot as examples, but neither won a single electoral vote as an independent, although both had an impact on the outcome of their elections.  George Wallace ran as an independent long before this migration became a trend, and in 1968 Wallace actually carried a few states and won some votes in the Electoral College in the race between Republican Richard Nixon and Democrat Hubert Humphrey.  Perot self-financed his 1992 and 1996 campaigns and won a lot of popular support, but he didn’t organize independents and centrists in any lasting way; his campaign was more personality driven than a realigning ideological call.  Nader ended up being a fringe candidate even among independents.

The trend seems to parallel the decline of the closed-primary system rather than any particular political migration towards a center, in which people had to declare an affiliation to cast a primary vote, as I mentioned earlier.  That calls into question how closely affiliated most voters have ever felt to one of the two major parties, and this realignment might just demonstrate a bit more accuracy about true political inclinations in the electorate.  In terms of acute enthusiasm, though, the pattern over the last three years disfavors Democrats more than Republicans, at least, making it mildly good news for the GOP.  It’s certainly an opportunity for Republicans to reclaim support lost in the 2006 and 2008 elections, but first they’ll have to stop the bleeding themselves.

Update: After discussing this with Jazz Shaw and Doug Mataconis on Twitter, I probably need to clarify one point a bit.  I’m not arguing that independent voters aren’t important; they clearly are, as the last several elections have shown.  I’m arguing that they don’t make a coherent movement (which is what I thought the USA Today article implied), and I’m not sure that the migration we are shows that there are more independents in practice than we have seen in the past.  I think the migration is a reaction to lessened need for party affiliation, and it might just mean we’re seeing a more honest reflection of the electorate.


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..any wonder?

The War Planner on December 23, 2011 at 12:41 PM

You know who polls pretty well with independents?

Hint: Not Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry.

Go RBNY on December 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM

With God as my witness, I can’t name the RNC chairman. But I have a satirical Facebook page about the DNC Chairhorse.

What does that say about the RNC, the RNC Chair, and me?

It says….we don’t know each other. We used to know each other not long ago. So why should I continue to support a party I don’t know?

BobMbx on December 23, 2011 at 12:46 PM

You know who polls pretty well with independents?

Hint: Not Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry.

Go RBNY on December 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM

we aren’t talking polling fraud either. come on.

upinak on December 23, 2011 at 12:46 PM

In today’s world where everything about you is available online – including party registration – you’re best bet is to be independent. Why mess up a potential business deal or job opportunity because you’re a Rep/Dem and the other party is a Dem/Rep?

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I won’t vote for a Democrat, and I also won’t vote for a Republican, especially if their only difference with the D is that the R is even more enthusiastic for war. I’d rather throw my vote away, or donate it to acorn, than vote for a lying cowardly scumbag like Mitt Flopney.

Daikokuco on December 23, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Perhaps those on the moderate Left are getting disgusted with the Socialism on the National Democratic Party..

And maybe those on the Right are getting sick of the lack of Fight with the Republicans?

Chip on December 23, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Members of both and the sycophants that surround them are all careerists and statists feeding from the same taxpayer feedbag.

rickyricardo on December 23, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Disgust.

ProfShadow on December 23, 2011 at 12:51 PM

With God as my witness, I can’t name the RNC chairman. But I have a satirical Facebook page about the DNC Chairhorse.

What does that say about the RNC, the RNC Chair, and me?

BobMbx on December 23, 2011 at 12:46 PM

That you don’t know how to use Google?

Go RBNY on December 23, 2011 at 12:52 PM

This is why adherence to conventional wisdom this cycle is folly. The rules are about to change. I’m not sure how, but I’m sure it will happen.

pugwriter on December 23, 2011 at 12:52 PM

In the swing states, though, it’s Democrats who are losing more ground, by more than a 2-1 ratio:

PUMAS!

Dr Evil on December 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Both Parties are not fixable.

Time to start the Republicrat party.

portlandon on December 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Can you spell “Disgusted?”

GCStateConservative on December 23, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Finally?

December 23, 2011
RNC chairman promises to make Fast and Furious a 2012 election theme

http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/22/rnc-chairman-promises-to-make-fast-and-furious-a-2012-election-theme/

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus reiterated his call for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation on Wednesday, and promised Operation Fast and Furious will be an election issue in 2012.

Southern by choice22 on December 23, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Perhaps folks no longer see two cents worth of difference between the Dems and Repubs, so they choose to register as Independents in the hope of getting the representation they deserve.

jackal40 on December 23, 2011 at 12:54 PM

I don’t like socialists/AKA softcore communists.
And I don’t care if they call themselves a Democrat a Republican or an Independent.

Badger40 on December 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I think it is primarily because there is a demand for order by the country, and there is little supply of order from formerly trusted institutions such as the major parties.

I predict that in the near future the country will rally around one party and stick to that party for many, many years, much in the same way the Democratic party maintained majority status for decades. I do not know if the country will rally around the Republicans or some new, as of now, undeclared party, but it will not be the Democrats this time around. They’re out of season.

Weebork on December 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM

After this latest debacle I vowed to change my affiliation from Republican to Independent.I will never vote for a Democrat or third party so it is symbolic only. It makes me feel better…

sandee on December 23, 2011 at 12:58 PM

First, states need to go back to closed primaries. This is another one of the premises that the Stupid Party bought off on years ago as being more egalitarian and “fair”. It just opens up the Republicans to manipulation of critical candidacies. If you want to vote in the Republican primary, register as a Republican — rule should be that you can only change party affiliation once every 4 year cycle as well in order to discourage attempted manipulation. Yes, I know Rush’s “Operation Chaos” did the same thing the other way, but that just points out the fundamental problem with open primaries and the ability to change parties as often as changing socks (OWS people exempted from this analogy).

I’m not surprised at the rise of independents and unaffiliated voters. I know several conservatives who have left the Republican party in disgust. I personally no longer contribute to the GOP but will only contribute to conservative candidates on a case by case basis. The Stupid party had a chance after the 2010 elections to redeem itself, Boehner and McConnell have failed to rise to the challenge. The fact that the presidential nomination is down to Newt or Gingrich is further reinforcement for my no GOP donations stance. Between the two, I’ll take Newt, but we really need a solid conservative who can articulate their positions and take the fight to the Dems.

AZfederalist on December 23, 2011 at 12:59 PM

from a personal POV I have been a life long rep since 18 years of age. I consider myself a reagan rep and at this point in time I have no use for the gop nor the dems. The gop has turned into the party of the country clubs and the dems have turned into the communists. I long for a party that addresses the needs of the country not of the party and one that wants to restore the american dream.

If it wasn’t for primary elections I would disown the gop since they have disowned people like me for close to two decades now.

unseen on December 23, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I’ve been a registered Republican all of my adult life. I work on elections and for my candidates. I contribute both time and money to the people and causes I support.

But, with all I’ve seen in the past few years, I’m really starting to have warm feelings about a third party. If someone could come up with a viable Conservative Party, that actually stuck to the core conservative issues, I would switch.

Until such time, I hold my nose and vote for the least offensive hack I can find…

hburns on December 23, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Correction:

Perhaps those on the moderate Left are getting disgusted with the Socialism OF the National Democratic Party..

Chip on December 23, 2011 at 1:02 PM

I’m hanging on to the Republican party by my fingernails. If Romney is nominated, I’m voting Libertarian.

GMO on December 23, 2011 at 1:02 PM

You know who polls pretty well with independents?

Hint: Not Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry.

Go RBNY on December 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM

You know who would get me to switch my affiliation from Republican to independtent should he win the nomination?

Hint: Not Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry.

DRayRaven on December 23, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Can you spell “Disgusted?”

GCStateConservative on December 23, 2011 at 12:54 PM

D..I..S..G..U..I..

..oh wait, that was rhetorical, wasn’t it?

The War Planner on December 23, 2011 at 1:03 PM

I’ve always described myself as a conservative non-Democrat.
I believe that reflects a pretty common attitude.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on December 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM

I’m hanging on to the Republican party by my fingernails. If Romney is nominated, I’m voting Libertarian.

GMO on December 23, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Please provide us an address so we can send you a “thank you” gift for four more years of Obama, vetoes of any attempt to repeal his healthcare, and the two new ultra-liberal SCOTUS justices he will support.

The War Planner on December 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Establishment really pushing for Romney I see

liberal4life on December 23, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Please provide us an address so we can send you a “thank you” gift for four more years of Obama, vetoes of any attempt to repeal his healthcare, and the two new ultra-liberal SCOTUS justices he will support.

The War Planner on December 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Bingo! As bad as the Republican candidates are, let’s not forget that even the worst of them is going to be orders of magnitude better than Obama. Yes, even Mitt.

AZfederalist on December 23, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Establishment really pushing for Romney I see

liberal4life on December 23, 2011 at 1:06 PM

You’ve got this whole liberal talking point sock puppet parody thing down wrong. Wrong thread for that particular talking point, it’s a non-sequitur in this thread.

Unless maybe your parody is attempting to demonstrate the complete vapidness of liberals and their inability to even understand where a specific talking point applies. Then you may be on to something. Have to ponder that a bit.

AZfederalist on December 23, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Let’s have for our entertainment and edification a spirited thread attacking the Unaffiliated In Name Only (UINOs).

kunegetikos on December 23, 2011 at 1:13 PM

I won’t vote for a Democrat, and I also won’t vote for a Republican, especially if their only difference with the D is that the R is even more enthusiastic for war. I’d rather throw my vote away, or donate it to acorn, than vote for a lying cowardly scumbag like Mitt Flopney.

Daikokuco on December 23, 2011 at 12:47 PM

So Obama it is then. Why do you even make the pretext of something other than that?

whbates on December 23, 2011 at 1:13 PM

If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say that a large portion of the country is becoming more socially liberal and more fiscally conservative. A few decades ago people were mostly either socially and fiscally liberal, or socially and fiscally conservative. But, over the past decade or so, there seems to be a lot more people who believe in a mixture of both.

theoddmanout on December 23, 2011 at 1:14 PM

’m hanging on to the Republican party by my fingernails. If Romney is nominated, I’m voting Libertarian.

GMO on December 23, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Please provide us an address so we can send you a “thank you” gift for four more years of Obama, vetoes of any attempt to repeal his healthcare, and the two new ultra-liberal SCOTUS justices he will support.

The War Planner on December 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Bingo! As bad as the Republican candidates are, let’s not forget that even the worst of them is going to be orders of magnitude better than Obama. Yes, even Mitt.

AZfederalist on December 23, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Yes, can this Nation survive four more years of El Presidente Downgrade’s Socialism, I think not.

http://michellemalkin.com/ may be selling nose clips in the case of some possible nominee’s.

Chip on December 23, 2011 at 1:14 PM

If it wasn’t for primary elections I would disown the gop since they have disowned people like me for close to two decades now.

unseen on December 23, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Is it any consolation that the Democrats are doing the same thing to the members of their party? I had friends protest voting back in 2000, and I told them don’t waste your time the Democrats aren’t paying attention, and even if they were, they don’t care.

We need two new political parties. These two are worn out, and don’t fit people’s needs anymore. This is why Independents ranks are growing. I like John McCain’s suggestion, we need a “Fed Up” party.

Dr Evil on December 23, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Never been a better time for a third party. The Dems. and Pubs. are beyond saving. Throw them all out and start over. Can’t do any worse. Apparently that is what folks are saying by leaving both parties. Reid, McConnell, Pelosi, Boehner, Obama, George Bush, the only difference betwenn them is that the Dems. are more competent and focused at getting their programs implemented.

they lie on December 23, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Yeah like these institutionalized idiots don’t inspire third parties.

Boehner and McConnel don’t own those chairs we do.

How’s that compromise coalition working out?

Could an absolutely no compromise, ever, stance be worse?

I don’t think so.

Speakup on December 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Am an unenrolled in MA. I can take a primary ballot for either party. Usually Republicans don’t have contested races, but sometimes. I was able to vote AGAINST Kerry twice in 2004.

In MA (one of those states which btw doesn’t check ID–you give an address and a name and they cross you off, no questions asked) there are many independents, quite a few Dems, and very few Republicans.
Making it closed primaries would mean a lot less people would vote
(good thing? bad?) unless they were forced to choose a party. In 2010
the special election for what had been Ted K’s seat drew a lot of unenrolleds (“independents”) to vote for Brown, in a surprising last-minute charge. He may be a “RINO” but to Mass. voters he’s a bit of both parties and still quite popular. In ’12 voters will choose between him and moonbat Liz Warren. (A _total conservative_ winning in MA? Never!) Warren, for now, is slightly ahead of him
in the polls. In the state that admires Frank, Markey, Kerry,
Patrick, and the memory of Good Old Ted.

raccoonradio on December 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM

>>even the worst of them is going to be orders of magnitude better than Obama. Yes, even Mitt.

Agreed. And for those choosing third party or staying home, we can sell you bumper stickers: Conservatives For Obama. In effect that’s what you’ll be, unless the third party candidate proves to be wildly popular (who?). Otherwise, “Barack and Michelle’s Taxpayer Paid Four Year Vacation” gets a return engagement.

raccoonradio on December 23, 2011 at 1:23 PM

We need two new political parties. These two are worn out, and don’t fit people’s needs anymore. This is why Independents ranks are growing. I like John McCain’s suggestion, we need a “Fed Up” party.

Dr Evil on December 23, 2011 at 1:15 PM

agreed both parties are terrible and are no longer addressing the issues and concerns of the vast majority of americans I think it is time we do away with two party rule.

unseen on December 23, 2011 at 1:23 PM

I am a Republican..I remain a Republican until it gets real bad and it isn’t there yet..:)

PS..Bishop has dibs on the last GOP lifeboat on the USS Republican Party and I have secured a seat..:)

Dire Straits on December 23, 2011 at 1:23 PM

If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say that a large portion of the country is becoming more socially liberal and more fiscally conservative. A few decades ago people were mostly either socially and fiscally liberal, or socially and fiscally conservative. But, over the past decade or so, there seems to be a lot more people who believe in a mixture of both.

Agreed. Unfortunately, they are becoming more liberal socially than they are conservative fiscally.

rickyricardo on December 23, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Bingo! As bad as the Republican candidates are, let’s not forget that even the worst of them is going to be orders of magnitude better than Obama. Yes, even Mitt.

AZfederalist on December 23, 2011 at 1:08 PM

I see you have fallen for the lesser of two evils canard again. good luck with that. I fell for it Bush. Clinton was not the antichrist. Obama is much worse that Clinton but back in the day if you listened to the gop Clinton was satan in flesh. If we continue with the lesser of two evil approach the next president will make Obama look normal.

unseen on December 23, 2011 at 1:26 PM

One party’s incumbents are going to take a beating. It is very rare for anti-incumbency to hurt both parties. One side nearly always takes the bigger hit. It’s going to be interesting.

lexhamfox on December 23, 2011 at 1:29 PM

*sigh*

I’m voting no B.O. (aka Stinky), whoever it is.

The threat of the chaos of another term with Stinky outweighs any nose-holding I’ll have to engage in to vote.

One year I really, really, really would like to be able to vote FOR someone instead of AGAINST someone.

ProfShadow on December 23, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Bingo! As bad as the Republican candidates are, let’s not forget that even the worst of them is going to be orders of magnitude better than Obama. Yes, even Mitt.

AZfederalist on December 23, 2011 at 1:08 PM

I see you have fallen for the lesser of two evils canard again. good luck with that. I fell for it Bush. Clinton was not the antichrist. Obama is much worse that Clinton but back in the day if you listened to the gop Clinton was satan in flesh. If we continue with the lesser of two evil approach the next president will make Obama look normal.

unseen on December 23, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Yeah, “vote for our guy, at least he’s not as bad as their guy” is a pretty weak argument.

Timin203 on December 23, 2011 at 1:32 PM

I’ve considered myself a Conservative without a party – since George H.W. Bush.

OhEssYouCowboys on December 23, 2011 at 1:32 PM

I’ve considered myself a Conservative without a party – since George H.W. Bush.

OhEssYouCowboys on December 23, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Conservative Party since the lame duck congress.

hawkdriver on December 23, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Big Government is bad government.

albill on December 23, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Republicans have lost ground because GOP pundits seem to tank for the ‘check the box’ or ‘next in line’ candidates. I wrote here that pundits like Mssrs. Rove & Krauthammer worry excessively about the check-the-list items rather than worrying whether the candidate staying on message is telling the truth or is wimping out (See Ohio Mitt) when it comes time for real leadership.

Mssrs. Rove & Krauthammer are bright people but they’re blowing it this time in the eyes of alot of activists. Neither has paid much attention to the fact that conservative activists will never trust Mitt.

Neither has paid much attention to the fact that Mitt will get crucified if he’s the nominee because he’d cause widespread apathy amongst conservatives.

It’s time that the Republican Agenda Media woke up to that fact.

LFRGary on December 23, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Please provide us an address so we can send you a “thank you” gift for four more years of Obama, vetoes of any attempt to repeal his healthcare, and the two new ultra-liberal SCOTUS justices he will support.

The War Planner on December 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Yeah, because when we held our noses and voted for every establishment GOP nominee from Bush 41 on, they did such a wonderful job of stopping the momentum that’s hurdling us toward fiscal disaster. /sarc

DRayRaven on December 23, 2011 at 1:42 PM

While we all have share some disgust with the GOP (varying degrees)..I look at the Democrats and I see no one I would vote for..That is what keeps me a GOP Elephant..:)

Dire Straits on December 23, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Badger40 on December 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Exactly.

chemman on December 23, 2011 at 1:43 PM

“Republican” is a seriously tarnished brand. Country club, Wall $. Not Joe the Plumber. When Dems are falling like a rock, R is not rising.

Long-term, R needs to be replaced. The whole paradigm needs to be broken open like a cracked walnut. What it will take is new thinking that breaks the current linear left – right scale.

Not Paul, cuz he’s old JBirch. Political correctness infests the left and right. No one says the obvious. Both left and right are guilty. What’s obvious? Govt is out of control, making too many laws. It needs to be seriously cut back. Freedom is worth something. So is faith: keep at least some of the American tradition from being overrun. And, when we are on the verge of bankruptcy you don’t give entitlements to those who don’t need it. Instead have targeted safety net welfare, insurance assistance, whatnot. And this drug war… is lost. “Go home.” And it’s simply immoral, to put away people for victimless crimes when violent thugs that attack us in our own homes are released from overcrowded prisons. Still, the world remains a dangerous place, though we can’t be its policeperson.

At some point soon a “modified Paul” will rise and take a new majority. Maybe Rand Paul, though I don’t know enough on that.

anotherJoe on December 23, 2011 at 1:45 PM

The Republican Party left me a long time ago.

Both the Dims and Repugs are pathetic excuses for our elected representatives. They only represent themselves and anyone who can line their pockets.

DC= District of Criminals and it needs to be flushed.

Robert Jensen on December 23, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Can not vote for a Democrat evah anymore… since there are no moderates anywhere. Getting tougher to vote for a Republican anymore…since it’s hard to find any of them with any bigger cahones…than Barney Franks pet gerbil!

KOOLAID2 on December 23, 2011 at 1:48 PM

anotherJoe on December 23, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I would like to think we have a deep benck with newcomers such as Jindal, Rubio, West, Ryan, Haley,Christie and Palin to name a few..:)

Dire Straits on December 23, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Let’s have for our entertainment and edification a spirited thread attacking the Unaffiliated In Name Only (UINOs).

kunegetikos on December 23, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Pronounced “Wino’s”? Im in!

swinia sutki on December 23, 2011 at 1:53 PM

To me, the Democrats are the party of corrupt socialist criminals. The Republicans are the party who pander to corrupt socialist criminals so as to not seem “extreme.”

Frankly, I look at the whole GOP field of presidential candidates with varying degrees of disgust. The only one I could bring myself to vote for is Perry…and that’s because of his tax plan, which would go a long way toward cleaning up the tax code.

As for the GOP in Congress, I look at them with contempt.

DRayRaven on December 23, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Establishment really pushing for Romney I see

liberal4life on December 23, 2011 at 1:06 PM

I see you agree with Rush Limbaugh. He said the same thing earlier this week.

Welcome to the right side of the issue. I hope you’ll stay with us in the future.

crr6 on June 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Del Dolemonte on December 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

I’ve been Republican for over a decade, but I live in a state (Pa.) that still has closed primaries. It’s important to me to be able to vote in primary elections as well as the general, even though the candidate is pretty much chosen before he gets to us. So even though I consider myself a conservative first and GOP a distant second, I won’t register as an Independent. Yet.

That being said, I see the GOP in Pennsylvania as a lukewarm version of the Democrats. Some true conservative candidates tend to gravitate to various third parties, which tends to doom them from the start. I’ve noticed that in general, these third party candidates in a lot of cases are dismissed as irrelevant at best and kooks at worst, whether they actually are or not.

Quite a few Dem voters I know are also more conservative in attitude than the Dems are nationally. They reject the rabid liberalism and quasi-socialism of the national Dem party, but it seems to me they keep their affiliation out of some perceived loyalty to their parents and grandparents. I don’t understand that — my parents and grandparents were Dems, too, but if they were alive today, they’d be horrified to see the direction the party has taken in the last 20 years.

PatriotGal2257 on December 23, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Please provide us an address so we can send you a “thank you” gift for four more years of Obama, vetoes of any attempt to repeal his healthcare, and the two new ultra-liberal SCOTUS justices he will support.

The War Planner on December 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Hey idiot. You’ve been warned. I suggest you stop trying to bully conservatives, and help nominate someone the conservative BASE can rally around.

After all, you’re supposed to vote for people who represent your ideals… that’s what a REPUBLIC is all about!

dominigan on December 23, 2011 at 2:37 PM

The picture is appropriate. Donkey and Elephant loving each other up. Both parties morphing into one. Time to throw them all out and start over.

Decoski on December 23, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Please provide us an address so we can send you a “thank you” gift for four more years of Obama, vetoes of any attempt to repeal his healthcare, and the two new ultra-liberal SCOTUS justices he will support.

The War Planner on December 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Yes, because you’re obviously an enabler for the party that is gung-ho about policies that will destroy the country when you fail to come out and vote for the candidate that will stand by and watch, bleating feebly, while the other party continues to be gung-ho about policies that will destroy the country.

/sarc

Aitch748 on December 23, 2011 at 2:44 PM

I long for the day when there are no political parties and people vote for individuals according to their principles. There are too many idiots stuck on the (R) team or (D) team like they are their favorite football teams. This independent trend is good news. I hope it is the beginning of death to both parties.

Decoski on December 23, 2011 at 2:48 PM

dominigan on December 23, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Begging your pardon but The War Planner is NO idiot..I consider him a Patriot..:)

Dire Straits on December 23, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Please provide us an address so we can send you a “thank you” gift for four more years of Obama, vetoes of any attempt to repeal his healthcare, and the two new ultra-liberal SCOTUS justices he will support.

The War Planner on December 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Your premise that a former governor from the most liberal state in the union will repeal Obamacare and appoint conservative judges is wrong. Either way, there’s no way Romney, who isn’t vetted at all, will beat Obama. Didn’t conservatives learn anything from 2008?

GMO on December 23, 2011 at 2:49 PM

The establishment GOP has never annoyed me so much as it has in this election cycle. There is no room any more for “go along to get along,” and I’m beyond sick of it.

The establishment GOP needs to either fish or cut bait. If they don’t want to fight for conservative ideals, they may as well just become the moderate wing of the Democratic party. For that matter, the Dems should just quit with the charade also and just admit publicly that they are Socialists, since that’s what they are in all but name. Neither group is fooling the average voter and it never ceases to amaze me that they both still act as if they’re the same old “trusted” parties of yesteryear.

PatriotGal2257 on December 23, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Your premise that a former governor from the most liberal state in the union will repeal Obamacare and appoint conservative judges is wrong. Either way, there’s no way Romney, who isn’t vetted at all, will beat Obama. Didn’t conservatives learn anything from 2008?

GMO on December 23, 2011 at 2:49 PM

do you actually believe that if a GOP-controlled house and senate passed a repeal romney would VETO it? come on. with 55 gop senators and an 80 seat majority in house romney or whoever replaces obama is an after thought. what matters for THAT placeholder whoever she or he is is that they reign in the regulatory agencies. the congress will take care of obamacare and vet the judges. relax dude.

t8stlikchkn on December 23, 2011 at 2:57 PM

When the only difference between Boehner and Obama is that Boehner is a better putter, there just might be a problem….Duh.

volsense on December 23, 2011 at 3:06 PM

do you actually believe that if a GOP-controlled house and senate passed a repeal romney would VETO it? come on.

t8stlikchkn on December 23, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Do you honestly believe that the gutless wonders who call themselves Republicans will suddenly transform into budget warriors and lions of small government?

Do you honestly believe that Romney is going to repeal anything?

Romney on Obamacare…
So some similarities, some differences, and I hope we’re ultimately able to eliminate some of the differences, repeal the bad and keep the good.

He isn’t going to get rid of Obamacare. He’s going to turn it into Romneycare National.

sharrukin on December 23, 2011 at 3:10 PM

I won’t vote for a Democrat, and I also won’t vote for a Republican, especially if their only difference with the D is that the R is even more enthusiastic for war. I’d rather throw my vote away, or donate it to acorn, than vote for a lying cowardly scumbag like Mitt Flopney.

Daikokuco on December 23, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Yeah whatever, Mr. Independent. If you’re going to lie, at least make the lie somewhat believable. No independent donates to ACORN.

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 3:29 PM

do you actually believe that if a GOP-controlled house and senate passed a repeal romney would VETO it? come on.

t8stlikchkn on December 23, 2011 at 2:57 PM

After the SS debacle this week, a GOP house with 100 seat majority and a senate with 70 Republicans wouldn’t guarantee a repeal. Not if McConnell and Boehner are still at the top.

Remember back in 2010 when we’d have debates on which is better; 41 Jim Demints or 55 Mitch McConnells / Scott Browns? This week answered that question.

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 3:32 PM

If the two party system is such a hot thing, then why are people fleeing it?

At the lowest level, which is the precinct level, both parties have had problems getting any organization together due to lack of party members. Some precincts are no-shows in State party organizations, others are hollow core precincts with just enough members to get a representative and still others have enough members but not enough interested members to actually care about the lowest level of retail politics. This is how the Tea Party got so quickly into the Republican apparatus: if there had been more members at the precinct level, then the establishment could have held back State level changes. Instead a few States have slowly ousted the old Republican party elites (FL comes to mind, but NH, OH, NV and other State level organizations are also changing over).

This will not stem the tide, however, as the two party system isn’t delivering the necessary governance and meaningful interaction at the lowest level of the parties. Instead both parties have concentrated for decades at the highest level (federal offices) and began to use the State level as just a training area, not as a place to learn effective governance. By shifting more power into fewer hands over decades, the two parties are killing off their roots: people fleeing isn’t a cause of the problem, it is a symptom.

What this means is that the two major parties will become less stable as the number of viable precincts decline. At some point the elites will seek to agglomerate precincts to try and keep any viable structure going, but that will only make the problem worse, not better.

Representative democracy to run a republic requires participation by citizens who are knowledgeable about the issues of the day and willing to make informed choices not at the federal level, but the local level. By putting so much interference of the local level from the federal level via regulations, the two parties (each in the belief that they are addressing ‘national problems’) are destroying the representative democracy required to run a republic. Without strong local say in local affairs, citizens are becoming fed up with the two parties that are now causing the problems at the local level through cronyism, earmarks, favoritism and utilizing non-democratic means (ie. the bureaucracy) to impose power from the top down at the local level.

This system does not work and the rise of the independent charts the course of how badly the two parties are doing. So does turn-out for non-Presidential elections but even the Presidential elections are now suffering: Barack Obama got 52% of the vote, yes, but the voter participation rate hovers at 50%, making a plurality of those who can vote (and a tiny plurality) the deciders in the election. That means that Obama got about 26% of the voting age population to vote for him. How bad is that? Consider the NSDAP in Germany having over 80% turnout and getting about 40% of the vote, meaning it gets in with over 30% of the voting age population voting for it in MULTIPARTY ELECTIONS. That is how woebegone this lovely two party system is: it can’t generate up a plurality that the Nazi’s got in Weimar Germany.

If you want more participation at the local level, then it is at that level that small government conservatism must START and begin addressing the federal over-reach of the last century. Start arguing about every federal program, every federal intrusion, every form, and work with others to fight bureaucratic decisions and go to court over them. You won’t win every one, no, but even a small fraction for things like energy, transportation, and intellectual property can make a huge difference. Once the federal government is shown to be incompetent, officious, overly bureaucratic and incapable of doing ANY of its jobs, things will start to change. Not from the top, but the bottom. Unfortunately that will mean our beloved two parties will hit the shredder, too. They are made for the 19th century, not the 21st. Figure out how to form new, virtual parties that also give link-up and connectivity at the local level and create some brand, new form of politics no one has ever seen before.

Don’t leave it up to the parties: they are stuck on stupid.

Only you can do this. If you dare.

ajacksonian on December 23, 2011 at 3:38 PM

I’m not arguing that independent voters aren’t important; they clearly are, as the last several elections have shown. I’m arguing that they don’t make a coherent movement (which is what I thought the USA Today article implied),

You are making a big mistake of lumping all independents together, as if they shared anything. That isn’t the case. There are different reasons for people to drop party affiliation. Sometimes, those reasons form a clear movement among the independents. Sometimes the independents are just confused idiots who can’t make up their minds. You can’t conflate the two, though.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on December 23, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Never been affiliated with either one. I guess I was avant garde and didn’t even know it! Political parties seem so…so…what’s the word I’m looking for…? Well, whatever the word is it looks like both parties are living up to it now. Throw the bums out. All of them.

rammerjammer on December 23, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Figure out how to form new, virtual parties that also give link-up and connectivity at the local level and create some brand, new form of politics no one has ever seen before.

Don’t leave it up to the parties: they are stuck on stupid.

Only you can do this. If you dare.

Have any suggestions on how to start, specifically for people like me who work opposite shifts from everyone else (i.e. everything but 9-5), but who want to be more involved? I’ve been a poll watcher in these last couple elections, I am a member of my local GOP committee and I get their newsletters in my email. However, unless I take a vacation day, I can’t exactly attend meetings or get-togethers in person. I suppose I could contact the chairperson to help make things more accessible to those of us who have non-traditional work schedules.

PatriotGal2257 on December 23, 2011 at 4:37 PM

do you actually believe that if a GOP-controlled house and senate passed a repeal romney would VETO it? come on. with 55 gop senators and an 80 seat majority in house romney or whoever replaces obama is an after thought. what matters for THAT placeholder whoever she or he is is that they reign in the regulatory agencies. the congress will take care of obamacare and vet the judges. relax dude.

t8stlikchkn on December 23, 2011 at 2:57 PM

I appreciate your point, and two years ago I would have agreed with you. However, I don’t think it’s safe to assume that the GOP will pass a bill to repeal Obamacare. I don’t believe they have the political will to play hardball, because they never demonstrate it. See how easily they caved this past week? I am even starting to wonder if the GOP establishment really wants to repeal Obamacare at all. Where is the talk about defunding it right now? There is none. A vote for Romney is a vote for the status quo and further entrenchment of political power into the hands of the same old few. I will support Gingrich though, because he’s obviously considered an outsider by those few, he has more fight in him than Romney, and I trust more to sign a repeal of Obamacare.

GMO on December 23, 2011 at 5:15 PM

“Republican” is a seriously tarnished brand. Country club, Wall $. Not Joe the Plumber. When Dems are falling like a rock, R is not rising.

Long-term, R needs to be replaced. The whole paradigm needs to be broken open like a cracked walnut. What it will take is new thinking that breaks the current linear left – right scale.

Not Paul, cuz he’s old JBirch. Political correctness infests the left and right. No one says the obvious. Both left and right are guilty. What’s obvious? Govt is out of control, making too many laws. It needs to be seriously cut back. Freedom is worth something. So is faith: keep at least some of the American tradition from being overrun. And, when we are on the verge of bankruptcy you don’t give entitlements to those who don’t need it. Instead have targeted safety net welfare, insurance assistance, whatnot. And this drug war… is lost. And it’s simply immoral, to put away people for victimless crimes when violent thugs that attack us in our own homes are released from overcrowded prisons. Still, the world remains a dangerous place, though we can’t be its policeperson.

At some point soon a “modified Paul” will rise and take a new majority. Maybe Rand Paul, though I don’t know enough on that.

anotherJoe on December 23, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I’m signing under this, word by word.

Archivarix on December 23, 2011 at 5:41 PM

The hard part is keeping the mascots straight. They both have big ears, long noses, and keep getting bigger. Where’s the party for small government conservatives? The GOP doesn’t seem to want us.

WingedPanther73 on December 23, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Soon enough it will be republicrates or dempublicans agains the refuse to state or independents!

Time to pick a side.

Randy Larsen on December 23, 2011 at 8:49 PM

I haven’t read any other comments but this is a reality all would do well to acknowledge. I’m one of them. And I am NOT a squish and I defy you to prove me wrong.

Genuine on December 23, 2011 at 10:50 PM

After living in ChiTcago for decades it became crystal clear to me that the Democrat Party offered me nothing, not even mere representation, thus I remain a recovering Dem-o-holic today.

By being a registered Republican I was able to get my feet in the door at the grass roots level and after a decade we’ve finally managed to kick out the tax and spend corrupt-0-crats here in Michigan. I feel really proud of my efforts and our successes today.

What do Independents stand for? What is their platform? What have they done that is noteworthy lately?

When I again go upstate to vote for the best candidates offered to we Michiganders I won’t worry about what any Independents want since they wish to keep that secret to themselves, and should they be unhappy about the choices offered at the ballot box they can take with them the satisfaction that their nonexistant efforts up to that point were ignored. That is what always happens to people who refuse to take a stand.

America ALWAYS gets the government it deserves.
It doesn’t matter if the game is rigged. If you don’t bet then you will never win.

DannoJyd on December 23, 2011 at 11:07 PM

At some point soon a “modified Paul” will rise and take a new majority. Maybe Rand Paul, though I don’t know enough on that.

anotherJoe on December 23, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I’m signing under this, word by word.

Archivarix on December 23, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Thanks Archivarix!

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

anotherJoe on December 23, 2011 at 11:24 PM

DannoJyd on December 23, 2011 at 11:07 PM

I’ve taken many, many stands in my life Danno. It just so happens that I’m not stupid enough to believe either side long enough to give the appearance of having a side or of having affected, contributed to, or supported a side. Because they all let you down in the end.

And I defy you to challenge me to take a stand on any given issue and I will come forward.

The sad thing is, it’s not JUST the parties idea that is at fault, it’s the system as a whole. Denial stage last a while for most folks. It is the hardest. ;)

Genuine on December 23, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Genuine on December 23, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Please do share what you did to keep 0bama out of office in 2008, to get Conservatives elected in 2010, and your plans for the upcoming political races.

BTW, what state do you live in? ;o)

DannoJyd on December 23, 2011 at 11:40 PM

commies to the left of me,fascist to the right.

svs22422 on December 24, 2011 at 1:22 AM

I am, like many others on here, having very warm feelings about a third party. I don’t have a problem with a ‘big tent’ party which includes people from often different viewpoints on a number of different issues. What I do have a problem with is a party which talks conservative, but when it comes down to it, only votes conservative sometimes. And not nearly enough.

It is too little too late for the GOP. Our country is going to hell, and they are not holding the line on Obama. They are giving him nearly everything he wants. Probably the worst trouble they have given him this whole year is a headache. He got his continued funding for Obamacare. He got his continued public funding for Planned Parenthood. He got his debt ceiling increase…in the TRILLIONS. He got his increased, continued funding for the EPA, the Department of Education, Energy, Labor, you name it. And worse than what the Republicans have allowed Obama to have this year, they themselves have broken their ‘Pledge to America’ by pushing and passing omnibus (they prefer the term ‘minibus’) bills, filled with big spending pork, earmarks, etc. When it comes down to it, only a minority of Republicans are truly conservatives who want to save this nation from fiscal destruction. Everyone else talks like they agree with Milton Friedman, like they love Hayek, like they revere Coolidge. But their votes reveal their almost complete disregard for conservatism and belie their putatively passionate rejection of socialism. For 90% of them, even such people as Paul Ryan whom many conservatives deeply admire, if the federal government takes over health care or education or housing or expands Medicare or explodes the debt, its 100% fine so long as the party doing it is theirs’. Its more a game than anything else to most of these Republicans. They condemn Obamacare, while they praise No Child Left Behind. They condemn Stimulus, while they voted for Medicare Part D. The welfare state continues to expand endlessly, and they make a fuss about it…when a Democrat is in the Oval Office. But what about when a Republican is there? Then their supposed conservative principles evaporate.

Are the two parties exactly the same? No, of course not. To argue such is to claim that the Tories and Labor are the same in Britain. Which is ridiculous. That being said, when it comes down it, statism continues its march forward, our debt continues to pile up, and the government continues to expand evermore, regardless of which party is in power. So much so that one could legitimately argue that Clinton was a more conservative president than Bush 43. Literally. Not based on their campaign rhetoric or party affiliation, but on how much debt we had and which programs were passed into law under them. The GOP talks like us, but in the overall analysis, it is clear that they don’t truly want to downsize our federal government considerably. When will they destroy the EPA? If they were as angry at the EPA as they claim, they would pass a bill ending the EPA in the House, send it to the Senate, and when Reid rejects it, try again, and again, and again. They would get the public, which dislikes the EPA’s onerous regulations, angry at the Democrats for keeping the EPA alive and running. They would play hardball and fight tooth and nail over this. But they won’t. They don’t really care. Is there a more logical reason why they don’t try to end the EPA? And further, if they can’t even muster the will to try to get rid of the EPA, why should any conservative believe they have the balls or the passion or the fortitude or the courage to try to repeal Obamacare next year and beyond? Really.

I’ll still vote for whoever the nominee is, unless it is Ron Paul (foreign policy views), but I will say this. If we lose to Obama next year, we deserve it. I cannot see how a conservative honest with themselves can look at how the GOP in Congress has behaved this past year and conclude that we truly deserve to control the White House. With the party we have, which gives Obama almost everything he wants, it wouldn’t be altogether unreasonable for one to believe the Democrats completely owning the federal government would be the best thing that could ever happen to the cause of conservatism in America going forward. Sure, he would load the Supreme Court with more liberals. And we’d be in much greater debt than we would be with a Republican (probably). But it would only serve to educate millions of Americans about the dangers of electing Democrats to office, and the GOP would be harder pressed than they are now to offer up RADICAL reforms away from what Obama has poisoned America with, rather than the ‘sensible’, ‘electable’, ‘not going to personally attack Obama’ garbage that the GOP is currently pushing for next year. Ask yourself this: Did 8 years of Bush 43 help or hurt the conservative movement and the Republican Party? Sure, we want Obama out next year, but we should be careful for what we wish for. We just might get it, and it might be a third Bush term.

LevinFan90 on December 24, 2011 at 3:29 AM

Imagine that – Americans disgusted with the yo-yos they elected. Until America as a nation gets it’s head out of it’s collective behind and starts sending some competent people to Washington, this will only get worse.

wdkeller on December 24, 2011 at 5:58 AM

If they kill babies or fake opposing such outrageous evil by “let’s put aside social issues (taking innocent life)for this election and talk about important stuff like money – they’ll not have my vote or money.

I now know how 1930′s Germany was able to do the evil it did.

Don L on December 24, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Don Trump (who never was a political leader) has left the main party he “belonged” to. Perhaps with a handful of big names doing the same (Sarah Palin etc.)at the right moment, then you might see the break in the dam, until then – or unless the left goes completetly Marxist and the torches and pitch forks are picked up, you are merely watching the historic demise of a nation.

Giving candy in it’s many forms *(abortion/free lunches/legitimized sloth and victimhood/pornography/near anarchy (OWS)/ illegitimate justice depts, runaway agencies, czars, corrupt judges making anti-constitutional laws/ politicized science (AGW)/politicized education/history/vote fraud/ grade fraud (Atlanta)are now okay/ european law/UN interference encouraged/ an atrophied constitution,unionized government workers/ political correctness replacing justice etc. etc. is the big weapon and we all want a piece of the action. I’m afraid Pogo was right – we are the enemy.

Don L on December 24, 2011 at 8:42 AM

When the left that owns the media can do and say as it pleases and the right wings are without the nads to even resist the double standard it’s time for a big change. The GOP that speaks with a high voice is also guilty of this double standard and there are just not enough of the John Wayne’s in the House to get anything accomplished that’s beneficial to America. Their voice is drowned out by the old bulls holding on to their positions of power.

mixplix on December 24, 2011 at 12:04 PM

unless the left goes completetly Marxist.
Don L on December 24, 2011 at 8:42 AM

you seem to be forgetting the PLANK in the rights eye.” the fascist, police state mentality.”

svs22422 on December 24, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Genuine on December 23, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Please do share what you did to keep 0bama out of office in 2008, to get Conservatives elected in 2010, and your plans for the upcoming political races.
BTW, what state do you live in? ;o)
DannoJyd on December 23, 2011 at 11:40 PM

I live in Oklahoma, born and raised, the only state to go county for county for McCain/Palin in 2008. I voted for Barack Obama and wanted to give the guy a chance in a genuine manner because for once, it was at least the appearance of someone different. And I was let down. I did nothing but vote in 2010 because I have been awake long enough to know that the prevailing sentiments were BS, and if you look around at any of the recent headlines about those great conservatives we put into power I was largely right in that assumption, and let down. And my plans now, for the upcoming elections are to try and navigate this minefield of terrible candidates, terrible choices, and again, bs.

And I am a part of a large and growing segment of the population. I do not believe in the republicans. I do not believe in the democrats. But I am genuinely concerned and doing my best to figure out the way to aid in righting this ship of ours. But it will not be found in the so called conservatives, nor the so called liberal republicans and democrats. And you’d do well to finally wake up and see that too.

I highly doubt we disagree to severely on issues and would be capable of having an honest back and forth where I CAN defend my own stances and know what they are, I am not a squish.

I’m just not an idiot either and the whole gotta pick a side thing is only part of their bs game to continue the system exactly like it is.

Genuine on December 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I don’t let presidents, politicians, parties, or AM advertising salesmen do my thinking for me, whoever they are, and have only been let down and mislead anytime I’ve ever deigned to entrust a little hope and honest faith in them that maybe, juuuuuust maybe, this time, it was actually gonna happen.

Hasn’t yet though, huh? Just the same song, different dance, teams switch sides, and the game never stops. THAT’S our American political system now.

Genuine on December 24, 2011 at 1:27 PM

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