The share of people who say they are “independent” — that is, they don’t affiliate with a political party — has climbed to its highest point in 70 years, according to a new survey by the Pew Center for People And The Press.
Thirty-nine percent of respondents self-identified as independents, compared with 33 percent who considered themselves Democrats and 22 percent who identified as Republicans.
Of those independents, a third (33 percent) say they are conservative, which is also an increase.
I was recently among a group of people who covered the political spectrum. Out of fifteen or so, perhaps five said they were independents — and of these, three or so said they were really Republicans but did not want to say so.
Is that what’s happening? Or are people really abandoning the parties?