July 22, 2011

Number of Independents Continues to Grow

34%

Independent voters now match Democratic voters in number.

There are now as many independent voters as Democrats (34% each) — the first time this has occurred in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys, and, by all indications, the highest percent independent since party identification was first measured in the late 1930s. While the number identifying as Republicans has remained relatively flat (28% in both 2008 and 2011), more independent voters lean to the GOP than did so in 2008 (16% now, 11% then). When leaners are combined with partisans, Democrats only have a four-point advantage among registered voters — 47% of voters are Democrats or lean to the Democratic Party while 43% are Republicans or lean to the GOP. In 2008, Democrats held a 12-point advantage over Republicans (51% to 39%). Read More