The impact of independent voters

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Independent voters make up a third of Arizona’s electorate and have increasingly become a major influence on election outcomes.

Professor Thom Reilly, co-director at ASU’s Center for an Independent Sustainable Democracy, discusses his new book concerning independent voters with Co-Author Jackie Salit.

What Classifies as an Independent Voter?

“These are Americans who are making a statement of non-compliance with the two parties and with the current political culture,” Salit said.

Independent voters have mixed feelings concerning a third party, according to Salit. It’s clear to see that it’s been making its way into public discussion, but generally speaking, independents are against partisanship and advocate for representing their own power compared to established parties.

Is this Why We are Seeing More Independent Voters?

“I think it is, and that’s why we wrote this books and that’s the focus of the Center. The time and election form is a hot topic of discussion. The focus examination on the rise of the unaffiliated and independent voter, and kind of just the thirst that we are seeing across the Untied States in non-partisan governors is the focus of our Center and is the focus of the book” Reilly said.

Impact on Younger Voters?

A recent poll suggested that over 50% of millennials are non-affiliated with a party.

“This whole phenomena of people leaving the two-party system and, as I mentioned before, the thirst for non-partisan governors, I think is a topic worthy of discussion,” Reilly said.

Impact on Minority Voters?

“Here in Arizona, I think the latest statistics are that 41% of Latinos identify as Independents. In the African American community, among younger people, among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, the numbers are really going up, up, up,” Salit said.

Salit agrees that this is not a momentary phenomenon, but rather it is a reflection of where our political system has gone and people’s overall opinions of fighting it and going a different route.

Prof. Thom Reilly/Co-Director, Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy; Jackie Salit/Co-author

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