Independent (Unaffiliated) Voters
I was compelled to discuss Independent/Unaffiliated voters after having many people offer every excuse in the world why they will not change their party affiliation to Republican. Being out and about participating in fairs and festivals, I meet folks who say they cannot change their political party because they are ’Independent”. I wanted to dig a little to see just why folks chose to be an “Independent” so let’s start with the definition.
An independent voter, often also called an unaffiliated voter in the United States, is a voter who does not align themselves with a political party. An independent is variously defined as a voter who votes for candidates on issues rather than on the basis of a political ideology, who does not have long-standing loyalty to, or identification with, a political party; a voter who does not usually vote for the same political party from election to election; or a voter who self-describes as an independent. (Source:
Further research led me to several articles that refer to Independents as people who are less interested in certain elections than partisan voters as some can be poorly informed about issues and candidates. Most are less actively political. 4 out of 10 voters say they are Independents, but few are actually swing voters who will vote either party. Most Independent voters on average are slightly more likely to stay home on election day. Typical Independents are less active and less engaged in politics that are strong partisans. Many tell me they are disgusted with both Democrats and Republicans. But one thing is clear, these Independent voters do not and will not declare an allegiance to one party.
Here are some responses I received when I asked voters to consider changing their party affiliation to Republican.
- My grandfather was a Democrat and he would roll over in his grave if he knew I was a Republican. Grandpa is dead and cannot roll over anything. Besides, would Grandpa agree with the Democrat party of today? Stop hiding behind that excuse.
- I like being an Independent because I get to vote for the “man”. I found that every single person who said this did not know how Primary elections work. One even told me he thought he would get an Independent ballot.
- My neighbors would throw rocks at my house if I change to Republican. I don’t know of any neighbor that would continue to be my neighbor if they throw rocks at my house. Besides, unless my neighbors pay my taxes, my insurance, my monthly bills, cuts my grass, and buy my groceries, they best not stick their nose in my political business. Just saying.
- I don’t like Trump because he “tweets” too much. When I asked about the economy, the jobs that have been created, decent healthcare for our vets, rebuilding of our military, and the fact that American workers bring home more money now, they had no response or further explanation.
- I don’t like what the Democrats are doing but it’s not a good idea to be a Republican. When I asked why, the response was “just because”. It was at this moment that I realized that some voters in Columbus County HAVE NO CLUE! Does everyone watch CNN?
The Columbus County Republican Women want the voters to go to the polls being well informed and educated on each and every candidate and each issue facing us. When we talk to voters, we talk about facts and the origin of the Republican Party. What is most frightening is that some voters don’t know (or care) that the Democrats support organized labor and labor unions, LGBT rights, strict gun laws, abortion, open borders, tax increases, universal health care and Medicare for all. Most don’t know that the Democrats opposed the abolition of slavery. Hardly anyone knew about the Dixiecrats who opposed racial integration and wanted to keep Jim Crow laws and white supremacy. The Dixiecrats took control of presidential elections in the South and many seats in Congress largely through disenfranchisement of black voters. Most people are unaware or do not understand this part of U.S. history.
Fellow Republicans, we have a lot of work to do.
Martha Stevens, Chairperson
Columbus County Republican Women