# Indpendents

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From The Courier:

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?

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