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Facing the Challenge of DemocracyExplorations in the Analysis of Public Opinion and Political Participation$
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Paul M. Sniderman and Benjamin Highton

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151106

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151106.001.0001

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The Myth of the Independent Voter Revisited

The Myth of the Independent Voter Revisited

(p.238) X The Myth of the Independent Voter Revisited
Facing the Challenge of Democracy

David B. Magleby

Candice J. Nelson

Mark C. Westlye

Princeton University Press

This chapter revisits the findings and conclusions reached in The Myth of the Independent Voter (1992), which shows independents in the electorate from 1952 (the first year in which the ANES asked respondents for their party identification) through 1988. Furthermore, the chapter addresses, where needed, some of the claims and concerns that still circulate regarding the large bloc of independents. It discusses the increase in the number of citizens identifying as independent, a phenomenon which began in the 1960s and is now considered a potential threat to the current American party system, which has been seen as a fundamental, long-term influence on Americans' political attitudes and behavior, and as the single most important predictor of the vote.

Keywords:   independent voter, American party system, party identification, independents, Pure Independents

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