Are you affiliated with the Republican or Democratic party? Neither? Are you among the 40% who consider themselves an independent or nonpartisan political party? An independent politician is an individual who is not affiliated with any political party. The reasons are endless as to why someone may stand for office as an independent. Some of those reasons include supporting policies that are different from those of the major parties or supporting a party’s platform, but choosing to stand as an independent because they don’t feel the party adequately follows their platform.
Independents Across the World
In some parts of the world, electors may have a tradition of electing independents, so standing for a political party is a disadvantage. In some countries, including Russia, a political party can only be registered if it has many members in more than one region, but in certain regions only a minority of electors support the major parties. Whereas in countries like Kuwait, political parties are illegal and all candidates thus stand as independents. In some countries where politics are otherwise traditionally partisan, such as the United States, subnational bodies and offices such as the Nebraska State Legislature and various directly-elected judicial and executive positions are nonpartisan and require politicians to abstain from running for office as part of a political party, even if they may be a member of one. In other some countries where politics is otherwise traditionally partisan, such as Mongolia, the incumbent President must always be an independent and cannot run for reelection as a member of a political party.
Who are Independent Voters?
Anyone can be an independent. Independents are more likely than the mainstream groups to have negative views of both major parties. Typically, Independents are younger and more likely to be male. According to PEW Research,
“While 45% of Republicans and 51% of Democrats are under age 50, these shares rise to 55% among Republican-leaning independents and 68% among Democratic leaners. And while men account for about half of Republicans (51%) and four-in-ten Democrats (40%), they account for 64% of Republican leaners and 51% of Democratic leaners.”
Like We Said Though, Anyone Can be an Independent
Independent voters are more diverse in age, race, gender and income than Republican and Democratic voters. The majority of independents are socially liberal, fiscally responsible centrists, but some also identify with libertarians and far-left progressives. Most of the independents say they are not aligned with a party because they agree with the Republicans on some things and with the Democrats on other things. We think that independent voters fall into four key areas: Republicans who are socially moderate but fiscally conservative; America First Democrats who tend to be male and more socially conservative they were also known as Reagan Democrats. Then the digital generation of voters younger than 35 who lean libertarian on social and economic issues; and finally, the Coffee Moms and Dads, suburban voters who make up a huge majority of the electorate and are reliably unpredictable.