The share of Americans identifying as Independent has never been higher, but beneath that reluctance to identity with either major party is growing distaste for the Biden Administration’s destructive agenda.
A portion of the public has always chosen to identify as Independent, but that number is rising, and the data reveals Independents are much more likely to lean Conservative or Moderate than liberal, which poses a huge threat to Biden’s reelection prospects.
Polls show Independents could swing nearly twenty percentage-points to the right in 2024 compared to 2020 if the Democratic Party continues on this unsustainable course, with crime, inflation, and foreign policy being key concerns for Independent voters.
According to a recent Gallup poll, the share of Americans identifying as Independent is the largest in modern history and significantly outnumbers those identifying as Republican or Democrat.
Polling conducted in September shows 41% of Americans identify as Independent, compared to just 28% who identify as Republican and the same number who identify as Democrat. Typically, Democrats and those who lean Democrat outnumber Republicans and leaners by a few percentage-points, but that advantage has disappeared.
Independents represented a quarter of voters in the 2020 election and were crucial to Biden’s election as he won them by thirteen percentage points, 54% to 41%. However, new recent polls show at the same time as a record number of Americans are identifying as Independent, Independent voters are deserting the Democratic Party.
YouGov polling in a two-way race between Trump and Biden shows Trump winning Independents by 6-percentage points, 33% to 27%, after losing Independents by 13-percentage points in 2020. This represents a 19-percentage point swing in favor of the GOP candidate in three years.
Biden’s disapproval rating among Independents has climbed to 63%, with just 31% approving of his job as president. Nearly 40% of those who disapprove of Biden do so strongly.
While about a fifth of Independents (18%) identify as Liberal, a greater share (25%) say they are Conservative and the greatest number (49%) identify as Moderates according to Suffolk University polling data.
The driving forces behind Independent voters turning against Democrats are crime in our cities, our unsustainable taxes and government spending, and globalist foreign policy. Independent voters may not be aligned with the GOP on all of these metrics, but they are strongly signaling their distaste for the Biden Administration’s approach to rampant crime, out-of-control spending, rising inflation, and inept foreign meddling.
Biden’s disapproval rate among Independents is the absolute highest on crime and on inflation, with Independents disapproving of Biden’s handling of crime by 32-percentage points, 56% to 24% and his handling of inflation by 32-percent, 59% to 27%.
Independents are also particularly concerned about our nation’s rampant spending and crippling tax rates. Independents disapprove of the Biden Administration on taxes and spending by 30 percentage points, 58% 28%.
Economic issues are a glaring factor for Independents as well, with Independents disapproving of Biden’s handling of the economy by 17 percentage points, 51% to 34%. A full 61% of Independents say the U.S. is in either a recession (35%) or a period of stagnation (26%). This number is nearly equal to the share of Republicans (64%) who say the same thing, while far fewer (42%) of Democrats say the economy is in a recession or stagnation. The bottom line is Independents reject Bidenomics, even as the Biden embraces it like a lead life preserver.
Independents also strongly disapprove of Biden’s handling of foreign policy, disapproving of the Biden Administration’s approach to foreign affairs by 21 percentage points, 52% to 31%.
Even on issues like gun control and climate change, Independents are far from satisfied with the Biden Administration’s radical agenda. Independents disapprove of Biden’s assault on the Second Amendment by 25-percentage points, 51% 26% and disapprove of Biden’s climate change agenda by 15-percenatge points, 45% to 30%.
More Americans than ever are identifying as Independents, but if we look beyond that reluctance to identify with either major party, the vast majority disapprove of the direction the Biden Administration is taking the country.
This represents a massive opportunity for conservatives to make their case for America First approaches to issues like crime, inflation, and foreign affairs, as well as the Second Amendment and climate issues. There are certainly far-left progressives who identify as Independent as well, but a majority of Independent voters identify as moderates and conservatives and are troubled by the direction of the country under Biden.
Bill Wilson is the former president of Americans for Limited Government.
- 45% identified as or leaned Republican; 44% identified as or leaned Democratic
- Democrats had at least a three-point edge each year from 2012 to 2021
- Largest percentage of Americans still identify as independent
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ party preferences were evenly divided in 2022, with 45% of U.S. adults identifying as Republican or saying they were Republican-leaning independents, and 44% identifying as Democrats or saying they were Democratic-leaning independents. The last time preferences were this closely divided was in 2011, with Democrats holding at least a three-percentage-point advantage in each year of the past decade.
More generally, stretching back to 1991, when Gallup began regularly measuring party identification and leaning, Democrats have held an edge in most years.