A recent memo from Resurgent Republic (a group similar to Democracy Corp, but for Republicans), points out that Independents are acting more like Republicans these days. This is great news for the struggling Grand Old Party, because Independents generally decide elections. In fact, in 2000, 2002, and 2004, Independents shared views with Republicans and handed the GOP wins. This trend was reverse in 2006 and 2008, when Independents reacted more like Democrats, giving Dems control of Congress and the White House.
The memo outlines the following trends:
Independents prefer smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes. Overwhelming majorities of Independents (70%) and Republicans (90%) agree compared to Democrats (49%).
Independents have concerns about the size of President Obama’s budget and the deficit it will create. Majorities of Independents (56%) and Republicans (87%) are somewhat or strongly opposed compared to Democrats (70%) who somewhat or strongly support the President’s budget.
Independents believe that big spending programs create few private sector jobs. By a +13 margin, Independents hold this opinion over the idea that the federal government has to do more during times of economic crisis, and spending by the government stimulates the economy and creates jobs.
Independents have serious reservations about the costs of a cap-and-trade program. By a +17 margin, Independents believe raising taxes on energy while the economy is in recession far outweighs any benefits from companies that may lower energy consumption and rely on more alternative fuels.
Independents believe the “harsh interrogation of detainees” was justified. Independents (53%) believe the “harsh interrogation of detainees” was justified, while the majority of Democrats (57%) believe it was not justified.
Independents do not want a criminal investigation into harsh interrogation techniques. Two out of every three Independents (66%) agree that a criminal investigation will divide the country, criminalize policy disagreements, and have a negative impact on future efforts to keep America safe.
Independents favor a health care system where most Americans receive private insurance versus federal government coverage. Majorities of Independents (61%) and Republicans (87%) prefer a private insurance system, while a majority of Democrats (52%) prefer a federal government system.
Independents do not want health care reform to increase taxes or the deficit. Majorities of Independents (62%) and Republicans (75%) agree with the statement “reforming health care is important, but it should be done without raising taxes or increasing the deficit,” while only 38% of Democrats agreed (versus 57% of Democrats who agreed instead that “reforming health care is so important that the government should invest new resources to make sure it is done right”).