From coast to coast, independent voters tilt tellingly toward Democrats in their opposition to the Iraq war, their displeasure with Bush and their feeling that the country is moving in the wrong direction, according to data from recent Associated Press-Ipsos polls.
National exit polls show that after leaning toward Republicans by 48 percent to 45 percent as recently as the 2002 elections, independents began shifting toward Democrats. The trickle became a wave by the 2006 congressional elections. Dissatisfaction with Bush and the Iraq war ran high, and independents favored Democratic candidates over Republicans by 57 percent to 39 percent. That was instrumental in the Democrats' capture of congressional control after a dozen years of GOP dominance – and a possible preview of what might emerge next year.
Independents are not a lock for Democrats. The two major parties are each viewed favorably by only about one-fifth of independents, according to a recent NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll. The survey also found that 42 percent of them have an unfavorable view of the leading Democratic presidential contender, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. – the highest among each parties' major hopefuls.
Can you say you're surprised?
Republicans have nothing to offer the nation but eternal war, the vague hope of 'lower taxes', vague promises of 'respect and honor', no-bid contracts(!) for their upper 1% cronies, vague promises of 'stronger families and stronger military'… I'm forgetting something… oh, yeah! Talking Points! Fear! Manufactured outrage over a newspaper ad!
The GOP has no candidates to offer, either. Giuliani? New York hates his guts and no one who's ever met him trusts him. Romney? He doesn't know which team he's playing for, half the time, and thinks that sending his kids out on the campaign trail is 'service to the nation' on par with a tour or three or four in Iraq. Fred Thompson? I'm not sure he even knows which nation is holding an election next year.
Beyond the 28% dead-enders who think waving a flag actually does something for America, people have had enough of the machismo by proxy foreign relations program, enough of the Constitution shredding, enough of the lies and misdirection, enough of the death and destruction that follows the GOP around like a lost puppy.
People are waking up. Let's make sure they're not lulled to sleep by silly Republican fairy tales again.