More and more Hoosiers consider themselves true “independents,” casting aside any political identification with either Republicans or Democrats.
Twenty percent (20%) of Indiana voters today identify themselves as “independent,” even after factoring out those who self-identify as leaning to one party or the other. This is a 150% increase in true independent voters in just the last six years.
Indiana has whip-sawed in recent elections, delivering the state to President Obama in 2008 in the same year it voted by historic margins for Mitch Daniels. Then in 2010, the state led the nation in a surge for the GOP. What will Indiana independents do in 2012?
These are just some of the findings from a recent statewide poll commissioned by the Indiana Chamber’s political action program, Indiana Business for Responsive Government (IBRG).
Third party candidates were hardly Perot-ic in the 2008 general election. Among them, independent Ralph Nader (though technically not in a party this year) garnered the most votes. Somewhat surprising to me, as former GOP Congressman and Libertarian candidate Bob Barr seemed to receive far more media coverage than any of the other candidates. Here are some noteworthy totals (with 97% of precincts reported):
Ralph Nader (Independent): 649,837
Bob Barr (Libertarian Party): 485,400
Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party): 173,202
Cynthia McKinney (Green Party): 141,333
Ron Paul: 19,285
Note: Paul, a Texas Congressman who lost to McCain in the GOP Primary, wasn’t actually running and was only on the ballot in a couple of states (I believe only Louisiana and Montana). Paul actually endorsed Baldwin (a LaPorte native, btw).