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Holy Grail of Voters


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holy-grail-of-votersFlopping Aces:

Holy Grail of Voters

Charlie Cook

For many years, I have been fixated on independent voters as the political equivalent of the holy grail. But now I believe voters who describe themselves as moderates are certainly just as important—and perhaps more important—than those who call themselves independents.

It’s not hard to figure out why so many of us obsessed over independents for so long. In the five presidential elections from 1996 forward, the Democratic nominee has won between 85 and 92 percent of the vote of self-identified Democratic voters (averaging 88 percent), while Republicans have garnered between 81 and 93 percent of those who said they were Republicans (averaging 90 percent). Both parties have been on the higher end of those scales in the past three elections. With the decisions of so many voters seemingly cast in stone, the biggest variable seemed to be independents. While President Ford in 1976 and Sen. John Kerry in 2004 both won bare majorities of the independent voters—by 52 to 48 percent and 50 to 48 percent, respectively—up until last year, the Scissors-32x32.png

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