2013 Led to Record Increase in Independents
Based on a new Gallup poll, it’s become clear that more and more Americans are backing away from self-identifying as Republican, and leaning more towards the Independent category. The poll showed that 42 percent of those Americans polled identified as independents, the highest number ever seen by Gallup in the over twenty-five years of asking the question.
On top of that, Republicans only reported in at 25 percent, the lowest ever, and Democrats remained at 31 percent, the same as in 2012, 2011, and 2010. According to the poll, the increase in independents is drawing members away from the Republican crowd. In 2004, Republicans reported in at 34 percent, the highest membership ever, but upon George W. Bush leaving office Republicans only came in at 28 percent.
The highest it reached since that time was 29 percent in 2010, and this years shows a marked decrease. It could be speculated that the increase in independents has to do with the shutdown, which hurt Republicans heavily in the polls at the time. The increase in independents in 2013 came during the fourth-quarter, during the shutdown and Obamacare debacle.