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Shifting political identification

A new gallup poll shows 31% of the public identifies themselves as Democrats and 27% as Republicans.

If, when you take a quick look at those numbers, it seems that a whole lot of people aren’t included, your math skills are just fine.

In fact, it’s a record number of self-identified Independents.

Not sure what this means for drug policy, but since both of the major political parties have been willing enablers in all the death and destruction of prohibition, I’m not shedding any tears for their discomfort.

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13 comments to Shifting political identification

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    There was a time in this Country when the Whigs were a very influential and established political party. IIRC wasn’t that mostly because everybody all of a sudden decided that wearing those powdered whigs looked stupid? I think their intransigence on the slavery issue contributed a little bit too. Then one day they all quit the Whig Party and joined the Republican Party. All because of a sudden change in fashion sense of a fickle public.

  • James Hare

    Properly translated it’s a record number of leaners who don’t want to admit partisan affiliation.

  • Outlier

    I don’t think it has many implications at all. When it comes down to it these aren’t by and large real independents as we’d think of them. The majority of them vote for the same party or don’t vote at all each time with only a few (10 to 20%)crossing over in the end. Although polls have also shown the people who call themselves independents are typically some of the strongest supporters of marijuana legalization.

  • davidst

    I think a lot of those are honest to god independents. Anyone who recognizes that things had gone terribly wrong in Republican land and gave Obama a shot now realize that things are terribly wrong across the board. Both parties are jokes. The only honest candidate (Ron Paul) is a black sheep trying to work within the Republican system. I’m hopeful that with the bad state of things, a lot of usual non-voters are going to get registered and vote… and not for Obama or an establishment Republican.

  • claygooding

    It is going to boil down to voting for the one that sucks the least,once more,and Obama is going to take it if the best the Republicunts can do is Romney. My prediction.

  • Francis

    So, if my interpretation of this poll is correct (and I think we can assume that it is), Gary Johnson should win the election handily with a 40% plurality! Sweet!

    Seriously, yes, many people that identify as “independents” actually vote fairly reliably for one major party or the other. And yes, probably a lot of people who identify as “independents” do so mostly because it’s seen as the cool thing to do, or because they like to think of themselves as not being driven by stupid “red team” / “blue team” partisan loyalties (even though they are). But I think there’s still a take-away, and that’s increasing dissatisfaction with the major parties. What sort of change or political realignment will eventually come from that trend if it continues? I don’t know. I just hope the drug war is one of the casualties.

  • darkcycle

    Just speaking for me, I’m one of those who traditionally voted Democratic and will NEVER make that mistake again. During the second Bush election I was berating Nader supporters for all I was worth, in retrospect, I was truly wrong to have done so.
    All I can say is I’m done “Hoping for Change”, and changing something I can,… my voting habits.

    • Windy

      Until the last presidential election, I always voted Libertarian. I attended my local Republican caucus and the county convention for Ron Paul in that election, and I wrote him in on my ballot since he didn’t get the nomination.

      I am going to my local caucus for Ron Paul again, and likely the county convention, too, again; and I will vote for Ron Paul if he gets the nomination. That said, if he doesn’t get the nomination or become a write-in candidate in my State, at least there will be a LP candidate I can bring myself to vote for this time around (I could not bring myself to hold my nose and vote for that statist LINO, Barr, last time), unless Ron Paul goes for the Independent route, in which case I will vote for him, I think he is much better on the drug war (and Gitmo and Iran) than Johnson, as Ron Paul wants to end the entire federal war on drugs and Johnson only wants to legalize cannabis. But if there is no opportunity to vote for Paul in this presidential election, I will cast my vote for Johnson.

  • Outlier

    If we’re gonna be successful as a movement I think we need to quit focusing so much on the presidential elections. Even if we could get a Gary Johnson or Ron Paul in the White House, our pathetic Congress would thwart them at every turn (Rep. Paul and Rep. Frank’s legalization bill got about a dozen cosponsors). If we’re really gonna put prohibition in the graveyard of history where it belongs we need to start talking to our state representatives and senators and run and support candidates who understand the evils of Prohibition and will fight draconian and counterproductive sentencing laws. 99% of drug arrests come at the state and local levels and the way alcohol prohibition ended was states refusing to enforce it one by one.

    • Windy

      And juries using jury nullification (fija.org) by refusing to convict on alcohol charges, even if the defendant was clearly in violation of the prohibition laws.

      You are correct about going after our State legislators and local ordinances, too. But currently, too few know about State nullification via the 10th Amendment and think that it does no good to do something at the State level because of the federal prohibition of drugs. The vast majority of people have been indoctrinated by public schooling to believe the federal government rules the States, and the 10th Amendment has no meaning or force when, Constitutionally, it is the other way around.

  • Windy

    Well, looks like my figures (in a comment on the Ron Paul post) have been updated, I’ll have to update my notes. thanks, Pete.