Research found Independent voters were as common as identification with either of the major political parties. 30.9% of respondents identify as Independent voters, while 31.4% identify as Democratic and 27.4% identify as Republican. 10.3% of respondents identify as none of the three.
One factor correlating to identification as an Independent voter was education. A significant increase was found in occurrence of Independents between respondents whose highest education level was community college and those with Bachelor’s degrees. 25.4% of respondents identifying high school as their highest level of education, 29% of those who attended community college, 34.7% of respondents with Bachelor’s degrees and 35.4% of respondents with post-graduate degrees identify themselves as Independent voters.
When it came to gender, men are more likely than women to identify as Independents:
Independent voting does not noticeably increase or decrease with age: Independent voters are most common within the 18-19 age bracket (32.9%), 30-39 cohort (32.8%), and the 40-49 year old group (33.1%). Respondents aged 20-29 are least likely to identify as Independent voters (25.5%), followed by respondents aged 60 and above (28.9%).
African Americans are the least likely ethnic group to identify as Independent voters (15.7%). All other ethnicities report a much higher proportion of Independent voters: Caucasian (32.6%), Hispanic American (29.6), Asian American (37%) and other (34.6%).
Findings are based on a poll of 3,011 participants from October 2011 to March 2012. The margin of error is 1.8% and at a 95% confidence level.