…former Republicans are now identifying as Independents. Here’s the link from TPMDC.
A new analysis from Public Policy Polling (D) finds that independents are leaning more conservative, which at first glance doesn’t look like good news for Democrats — but a close examination shows that the trends also don’t contain too much reason for Republican optimism, either.
“Part of that has to do with the decreasing number of Americans identifying as Republicans in recent years,” writes PPP communications director Tom Jensen. “While they’re eschewing the party’s label, they’re still conservative and more often than not voting for the party’s candidates.”
So to some degree, this conservative lean from the independent group comes from the continuing shrinkage in Republicans — a shift in demographics that at the end of the day wouldn’t actually have too much of a real effect on voting patterns.
As the last Lyceum poll [.pdf] showed many more Texans are identifying as Independents as well.
More respondents (46%) identified themselves as Independents than as Republicans (25%) or Democrats (28%).
That’s what the battle will be over once both parties nominees have been decided.
Another interesting read from yesterday was the fact that turnout, as a percentage registered voters, turnout was down during the 2008 election both in Texas and in the US. From the FWST, Census report shows that Texas still ranks low in voter turnout.
About 8.4 million voters cast ballots in the state in the November election, roughly half a million more than in 2004.
But that growth didn’t keep pace with the rise in the state’s population, so turnout actually dropped, from 57 percent in 2004 to 56 percent in 2008. That puts Texas 45th among the states in 2008; it was 47th in 2004.
Turnout rose among black voters in Texas from 2004 to 2008, but dropped among Hispanics and Asians. An additional 263,000 blacks voted in 2008, increasing turnout from 58 to 65 percent. Hispanic turnout decreased from 42 to 38 percent, despite an additional 164,000 voters. Turnout among Asians fell to 34 percent from 43 percent, with 34,000 fewer voting.
In Texas, while 71,000 more voters ages 18 to 24 cast ballots in 2008, the turnout for that age group dropped from 39 percent in 2004 to 36 percent in 2008. Voters ages 65 to 74 saw the largest gain, from 69 percent in 2004 to 74 percent in 2008.
This from the article on US turnout.
For all the attention generated by Barack Obama’s candidacy, the share of eligible voters who cast ballots in November declined for the first time in a dozen years. The reason: Older white voters with little interest in either Barack Obama or John McCain stayed home.
Ohio and Pennsylvania were among those showing declines in white voters, helping Obama carry those battleground states.
“While the significance of minority votes for Obama is clearly key, it cannot be overlooked that reduced white support for a Republican candidate allowed minorities to tip the balance in many slow-growing ‘purple’ states,” said William H. Frey, a demographer for the Brookings Institution, referring to key battleground states that don’t notably tilt Democrat or Republican.
Here is the press release with a link to the data tables from the US Census Bureau.