How much does Obama's "fairness" message really help with independents?

But “fairness” in this context may not appeal to independents in the same way it does to liberals, which means the president may be shrinking his megaphone rather than amplifying it.

“Tax fairness is unlikely to either help or hurt the president with swing independents,” said Matt Bennett, Third Way’s senior vice president for public affairs, referring to a term the think tank used to describe persuadable independents up for grabs by either nominee.

“Most of them — like most voters — support raising taxes on the wealthy,” he told RCP. “But this just isn’t their major concern. They don’t believe that their lives will be made fundamentally better, or that the American economy will get back on top simply by taxing the rich a bit more. Our research shows that swing independents are keenly interested in messages and policies about restoring American economic health and providing more opportunity for them, but especially for their kids.”…

But the findings in the Third Way poll, and in focus group sessions conducted this year by the organization, were that persuadable independent voters do not see the deck stacked against them, and their definitions of tax fairness include levying a flat tax on everyone, or taxing low-income earners who pay no taxes, more than raising taxes on the wealthy.