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Wolf reports: "More than 2.5 million voters have left the Democratic and Republican parties since the 2008 elections, while the number of independent voters continues to grow. A USA Today analysis of state voter registration statistics shows registered Democrats declined in 25 of the 28 states that register voters by party. Republicans dipped in 21 states, while independents increased in 18 states."

A huge crowd at the capital in Madison, Wisconsin, greets the 'Wisconsin 14', 03/13/11. (photo: Morry Gash/AP)
A huge crowd at the capital in Madison, Wisconsin, greets the 'Wisconsin 14', 03/13/11. (photo: Morry Gash/AP)



Voters Leaving Republican, Democratic Parties in Droves

By Richard Wolf, USA Today

25 December 11

 

wo men walk to a polling place in Little Rock, Ark., to vote on Nov. 8.

A USA TODAY analysis of state voter registration statistics shows registered Democrats declined in 25 of the 28 states that register voters by party. Republicans dipped in 21 states, while independents increased in 18 states.

The trend is acute in states that are key to next year's presidential race. In the eight swing states that register voters by party, Democrats' registration is down by 800,000 and Republicans' by 350,000. Independents have gained 325,000.The pattern continues a decades-long trend that has seen a diminution in the power of political parties, giving rise to independents as Ross Perot and Ralph Nader and the popularity this year of libertarian Republican Ron Paul.

"The strident voices of both the left and the right have sort of soured people from saying willingly that they belong to one party or the other," says Doug Lewis, who represents state elections officials. "If both sides call each other scurrilous dogs, then the public believes that both sides are probably scurrilous dogs."

Registered Democrats still dominate the political playing field with more than 42 million voters, compared to 30 million Republicans and 24 million independents. But Democrats have lost the most - 1.7 million, or 3.9%, from 2008.

Democratic registration has fared worse than Republicans in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — the eight swing states with party registration. Republican losses are biggest in Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

The decline is due to a variety of factors. People move, people die, people revolt in disgust. Many are stripped from registration rolls by states seeking to remove inactive voters.

By contrast, the number of independents has grown for years and is up more than 400,000 since 2008, or 1.7%. States with big gains: Colorado, Florida, North Carolina — and Arizona, a possible target for President Obama in 2012.

The 2012 winner, says North Carolina elections director Gary Bartlett, will be "whoever is attractive to the unaffiliated voter."

 

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+26 # fredboy 2011-12-25 11:18
Millions seeking honest, positive, courageous leadership.

And tired of the shame.
 
 
+16 # ruralhorseman 2011-12-25 16:41
Quoting fredboy:
Millions seeking honest, positive, courageous leadership.

And tired of the shame.

We, the hundreds of millions, WE THE PEOPLE. We the Government. We the future. We must change the course of time, There is no miracle politician or political party out there that will or can do it for us. WE are the solution. SHAME ON US! How many times have we been fooled? How many times does it take?
 
 
-2 # LessSaid 2011-12-25 13:03
People just need to vote for the party that is the one looking after their interest. If you are in the 1%, vote for the Teapublicans. If you are in the 99%, than vote for the democrats. However, there are some indoctornated, ignorant, low and middle class whites who will vote for the Teapublicans, when they no way represent their interest. Then there those hispanics, latinos, gays, blacks, that will also vote against their interest as well.
 
 
+3 # noitall 2011-12-25 13:58
Less Said the better. "If you are in the 99%, than (sic) vote for the democrats." HUH? That's the way the system is set up but that's not the way it works. Some huge percentage of the so-called 99% aren't represented, in reality, no matter which of the 2, two, dos, parties that they vote for. We hear the rhetoric but what's that worth when the rubber hits the road; when the ins begin their rule? NOTHING! Now that it is observed that people are deserting the two parties to vote as independents, who is their candidate? How does the system accomodate this gap? it doesn't. If it did, that would be opening the good ol' boy club door wide open. Someone that represents the ideals of the majority might become president of the sorority and stop the panty raids. What fun, spelled p-r-o-f-i-t would that be?!
 
 
+1 # LessSaid 2011-12-25 21:54
Quoting noitall:
Less Said the better. "If you are in the 99%, than (sic) vote for the democrats." HUH? That's the way the system is set up but that's not the way it works. Some huge percentage of the so-called 99% aren't represented, in reality, no matter which of the 2, two, dos, parties that they vote for. We hear the rhetoric but what's that worth when the rubber hits the road; when the ins begin their rule? NOTHING! Now that it is observed that people are deserting the two parties to vote as independents, who is their candidate? How does the system accomodate this gap? it doesn't. If it did, that would be opening the good ol' boy club door wide open. Someone that represents the ideals of the majority might become president of the sorority and stop the panty raids. What fun, spelled p-r-o-f-i-t would that be?!


Let me ask you, what in the hell are you doing to change the two party system in lieu of complaining about it every year at election time. Give me a break! As it stands right now, you damn right I will vote for the democrats. I notice in your statement, that there was no commitment to anything at all, just complaining. It very easy to sound good when you are just complaining and not making a commitment of action. Now get lost!
 
 
0 # noitall 2011-12-28 01:46
My getting lost isn't going to change the reality that faces us all and threatens this country. The question is, what are YOU going to do about it besides continuing to wang chung. AND I didn't complain about it last time, it just turned out that we WERE listening to rhetoric. So You chill...and enjoy your panty raid. Don't get so angry, you come across like a feckin, republican.
 
 
+11 # mwd870 2011-12-26 06:28
"However, there are some indoctornated, ignorant, low and middle class whites who will vote for the Teapublicans, when they no way represent their interest."

Is this all a result of watching Fox? I have never been able to understand why so many people think this way.
 
 
+18 # mmeppie 2011-12-25 13:46
Vindicated! After a lifetime as a Democrat, I gave up and re-registered "Declines to state" a few months ago after Obama agreed to preserve the Bush tax cuts for the rich. I realize that my single "conversion" will not be noticed by the corrupt Democratic Party, but it's nice to know that others feel the way I do. If enough people change their registration someone might notice. Bravo!
 
 
+12 # ruralhorseman 2011-12-25 16:38
Only if you have the will to educate yourself on the issues and solutions to problems that will work, not repeat history. Read the first article on this RSN site if you haven't already. I too did exactly what you did, but to what avail? If I don't realize that there is a stacked Supreme Court in favor of corporate domination, then I can't vote for the best chance of getting moderates when 3 of the justices soon retire. If I don't realize that debt means nothing if you don't have income. With no income it's a zero sum situation. We go bankrupt, the nation goes bankrupt. If we don't stop rushing to war, we will be losing our children, and our future grand children until we do. What bigger investment have you ever made in your life? Then we send them off to a war of no reason and no end? You not only loose your mind, you loose your heart and I hate to say it but you loose your monetary investment in that child also. That several hundred thousands of $$ that you spent to get that son or daughter through high school or college, gone. Gone before diplomacy was even tried. Gone before the facts were out of the Pentagon. It is us that needs to save the family and our country: YES, US, WE THE PEOPLE!! Think and act accordingly and without fear.
 
 
+11 # maddave 2011-12-26 07:01
mmepie & ruralhorseman:
FACTS:
1. Our 2012 choices lie between Obama and one of the opportunists in the GOP's clown car. (Ron Paul wrote himself OUT!)
2. Our 483-member Congress is largely bought-and-paid -for by Corporate America.
3. Our Supreme Court that is split 5-4 toward the right, and in the next five years at least two of the nine will be replaced due to health or retirement.

PROGRESSIVE REASONING:
1. Alone, each of us is irrelevant, and unless joined by millions, merely changing party registration to "undecided" will go unnoticed.
2. An individual Citizen's effect on Congress is nil and will remain so until Federal elections are free of ALL private & corporate money!
3. "Citizens United" must first be rescinded, but the Supreme Court is currently 5-4 pro-Corporate America. Of all of the candidates currently running for Obama's SEAT, only Obama - whose record is positive in this area - can be counted upon to correct the Supreme Court's current imbalance - which is toward the fascist right.
4. Love, like or hate Obama, most of his decisions have been positive, and he is unique in representing WE THE PEOPLE'S only hope for regaining control of our currently Corporate-domin ated, right wing government.

The changes to corporate, banking & finance laws that this country so desperately need can only be achieved if we re-elect Obama and give him a solid filibuster-proo f Congress.
 
 
+1 # mwd870 2011-12-28 06:14
"The changes to corporate, banking & finance laws that this country so desperately need can only be achieved if we re-elect Obama and give him a solid filibuster-proo f Congress."

Despite all the talk of third parties, your progressive reasoning is probably the most realistic approach to change, at least in the short term.
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2011-12-25 14:16
"Independents" work both ways.
For example, Bernie Sanders is a progressive Independent way to the truth side of the Democrats, whereas the Tea-Party is a renegade arm of the Republican party and could almost be considered "independent" -of all decent standards of humanity and protocol, not unlike the lynch-mobs of the South and former "wild" west (remember the jetted-in by "Ken-boy" Ley mobs who attacked the vote-counters in Tallahassee in 1999, Town Hall rioters and discussion-kill ers in 2003-04 with their irrational and rabid calls for "let them eat cake" with their turncoat, failed Governess of Alaska as their "Ideal" candidate until she'd made enough dough on the public stage to dump them?.
But when it comes to voting day, I wonder how many truly independent voters will be left sitting bewildered on the curb, the status-quo remaining, until critical mass (OWS and/ a general strike, with a Democratic Socialist figurehead) picks up the slack and reforms into a true party with funds, lawyers and a realistic chance of pushing back at the embedded, corrupt and totally out of balance power structure?
 
 
+3 # jwb110 2011-12-25 14:58
These declining numbers for both parties say a lot about the people who no longer want to be identified with a lunatic fringe on any side of the political aisle.
The independent or swing voter decides elections more and more. Should the independent/swi ng voters increase we might very well end up with at least a third political party and maybe more. Multiple political parties would force the ideologically driven fringe members of the existing two parties to have to actually make decisions based on real needs that should be met and not by a few special interest groups.
I am all for breaking up this old system and re-energizing America and restoring the country to its citizens.
 
 
+18 # diacad 2011-12-25 15:12
The real problem is the domination of both traditional parties by big money. Having recently been in Sweden close to election time, we believe in the Swedish
idea - private or corporate contributions to political campaigns should be considered political bribery and rewarded with jail terms rather than
lucrative contracts, pliant Congressmen, and compromising Presidents. Campaigns are financed by a modest government budget according the vote percentage each party got in the previous election. To qualify for funds, a party must get 1% of the vote.

So how can people here in the US win against corporate backed candidates?

Difficult, but one way forward would be to rebuild the Progressive Party, the most successful US third party in the last century. It is happening now on a state-by-state basis. The Vermont Progressive Party takes no PAC money, is based on a clear and strong platform binding on all its candidates, and has won many state and local offices already. Some of us in New Hampshire are watching. See: http://www.nhprog.org/
 
 
+1 # Stephen 2011-12-25 15:37
Time to put an end to the farce. Let's have several new parties.
If there are some good democrats in DC, (are there any good republicans left?), let them join forces in a new party.
 
 
+17 # futhark 2011-12-25 16:49
The "two party system", much promoted by the American educational system, does not, in fact, produce democratic government. Instead, we have a charade of democracy that is manipulated by and serves the interests of the Plutocrats behind the curtain. Pull the curtain aside and watch these rascals writhe and squirm.

Government should serve the community of citizens and the world instead of making the world safe for the hypocrisy of exploitation and abuse. End the wars, care for and preserve the Earth, educate the young, and provide affordable medical and dental insurance for all. Respect human dignity and Constitutional liberties and processes. No more cheap double-talking sloganeering. No more trying to find middle ground with the corrupt exploiters.

I was a Democrat for 35 years before bailing after John Kerry did not contest G. W. Bush's "victory" in Ohio in 2004. Register Green and vote for the candidate you think represents the best and most honest hope for the future.
 
 
+2 # mwd870 2011-12-26 06:24
The "charade of democracy" is why so many Americans are looking for ways to change the system. If people vote third party in 2012, it will be interesting to watch the results on election night.

While promoting new parties is a great idea, it may not be a realistic goal for the 2012 elections. An Obama win in 2012 could represent a better chance to organize a strong third party. A Republican win, with the resulting destructive policies, might create an even stronger incentive to organize.

Bernie Sanders is an Independent, but his ideas are progressive. This is the kind of third party I would support, if we could get a large enough constituency. On the other hand, some Independents lean toward the Tea Party. Maybe there will be four viable parties in 2016.

One point of view I don't want to believe is that nothing we do will change the existing non-democratic, corrupt political system.
 
 
+1 # noitall 2011-12-28 02:05
Publicly funded elections is what we need but which of these self-serving, weak, career politicians will support that?
 
 
+10 # Susan W 2011-12-25 20:40
I have abandoned the Democratic party not because they are too strident or fringe but because they are too far right! Their seeming desire to be bipartisan at any cost has rendered them nothing more than another wing of the corporate oligarchy who for some reason believe that by being the lesser of two evils that is enough to win. Balderdash!

We have always had two parties for a reason--choice. That has disappeared and so too has my support.
 
 
+2 # freeportguy 2011-12-25 21:35
The problem is that parties take a voter's allegiance as if it meant this voter agrees 100% with ALL parties' positions!

They take it as a blank check!

Plus, neither party is 100% right or wrong all the times, thus by not siding exclusively with either, I reserve my right to back whomever I want at any given time, depending on the issue, on a case by case basis.
 
 
+2 # LessSaid 2011-12-25 21:43
I get so sick and tired every four years that people start talking about the two party system ain't working for us and no one. What ain't working is that voters don't get it that you don't start complaining about the the two-party system at election time. I don't know of one damn person who is complaining about the current Republican and Democrat 2 party system that is working to change it. So for right now, work with what you got and decide if you want President Obama to stay in office or elect Rommey or Gingrich or whoever the Teapublican candidate with be. Because that is the bottomline. All the other talk is pissing in the wind. If everyone think it doesn't matter who elected, just re-elect the Teapublicans and one of those clown Teapublican candidates. Then you will have a one party system and no rights whatsoever.
 
 
0 # Ralph Averill 2011-12-26 01:37
Agreed! In spades. How many complainers ever attend a local town committee meeting, or attend a state party convention, or even know who sits on the local committees of either party? How many even know the name of their state reps let alone communicate with any one of the above about what they think.
 
 
0 # noitall 2011-12-28 02:02
Where you pulling that info about who attends what and who knows who, out of the same oriface as LessSaid apparently. Complain about that. Talk to the people in the street w/ OWS. Pretty savy group. Don't forget to dress warm.
 
 
0 # Ralph Averill 2011-12-26 01:55
Jeez! It's not as if you have to vote for the party in which you registered. Plus, in almost all states, independents don't get to vote in primaries, thereby denying themselves a voice in who gets nominated. Those who switch to independent will get what they deserve as election day approaches; a deluge of election mail and dinner-time phone calls from all the candidates for all offices of all levels of government from both parties. Then those newly registered independents really will have something to complain about.
 
 
+3 # John Locke 2011-12-26 08:50
Less Said, you forget we have only one party now... just two talking heads controlled by the same money elite...who ever is elected weather Repub or Demo they will do exactly what they arew told to do by their masters, so in reality there is only one party.
 
 
-4 # LessSaid 2011-12-26 18:44
Quoting John Locke:
Less Said, you forget we have only one party now... just two talking heads controlled by the same money elite...who ever is elected weather Repub or Demo they will do exactly what they arew told to do by their masters, so in reality there is only one party.


I am not forgetting anything. For one thing we don't have a one party, we have a two party system. What you don't understand is that we have two political parties that are left to do as they please, because the voters don't do anything in large numbers to hold them accountable. For one thing, in most major elections not more than 50% of the eligible voters come out to vote. And on local elections not more than 20% generally come out to vote. Then after we vote someone in office the voters than disengage with the political system. So in general, it doesn't matter how many parties we have, if the voters/citizenr y is disengaged from the system, that is what makes a one party political system.
 
 
+1 # noitall 2011-12-28 01:55
Two party, one policy. LessSaid You seem to be saying a lot, you keep shooting off your mouth about no one doing anything about it. Where are you pulling that out of? Seems obvious. If you were looking, you'd see a lot of people trying to do something about it in the street. Get your feet wet yet? Didn't think so.
 
 
+3 # bluepilgrim 2011-12-26 07:29
At this point the system is so busted that voting usually doesn't mean much: what we get is not what was advertised.

But I will only vote for someone I WANT, and none of the major candidates are acceptable, so I generally end up voting Socialist or Green, rather than for fascists, gangsters, or war criminals. This is not real complicated.

Yet, most of the work must be outside the electoral system since the machine and the system is the real problem. Real democracy is not just choosing between two choices preselected by the oligarchy.
 
 
0 # Linda 2011-12-26 08:31
Here we go again !
First you were mad as hell and joined the Tea Party radicals or stayed home and didn't vote .You see where that got us .
Now you see they are only corporate shills so you desert them and jump on another radical right wing candidate who would throw the most vulnerable to the wolves .
When will you stop chosing the radical crazys and stop losing elections for the rest of us who have some sense and know its more important to give Obama 4 more years and 2 more Supreme Court justices who could very well overturn the Citizens Untited decision .We won't jump on some radical Libertarian Republican bandwagon that would seal our fate for our entire lifetime with two more Republican justices to make even more radical laws that violate our rights .
Do you really want to lose all your voting rights as well as all your civil rights ?

If you stop jumping ship and try to work to change things by giving this President the majority in both houses you could do some good !

I agree with everything you said maddave !
We have to look at the big picture and stop taking bits and pieces we like about a candidate ignoring the rest of his agenda which is disasterous !

Do you want a Republican Supreme Court for a lifetime ? No third party will win it will just take votes away from the Democrats and give Republican's all the power once again !
 
 
0 # maddave 2011-12-28 01:08
Brava, Linda! I like your pragmatic style!

For those disillusioned liberals & progressives who are planning not-to-vote or voting third party, listen to Linda. She's spot-on! We can & will win in 2012 if you will just hink positive & keep the faith.

Barring that, vote for what's best for YOUR own pocketbook, not for what benefits the fat-cat 1%.
 
 
0 # maddave 2011-12-28 01:15
Linda - I just re-read your comment, and I think I am falling in love! (And I promise to stay in love until Elizabeth Warren comes to her senses and gives me a tumble!)
 
 
+5 # CL38 2011-12-26 11:55
"The strident voices of both the left and the right have sort of soured people????

The strident voices of the left??? What strident voices???
 
 
+2 # Edgardo 2011-12-27 19:13
What a wonderful trend. Let's just hope that it's fast enough. Being Independent doesn't automatically make you a genius, but, at least you are no longer an official idiot.
 
 
+1 # Scott479 2011-12-27 20:06
We are saying may there be a"A Pox on Both Your Houses"
 

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