Originally Posted by Direckshun
I'd quibble with this here or there, but fair enough.
Actually Obama kicked the shit out of Romney with centrists, which is a different category than independents. Independents over the past four years became a misnomer because essentially a bunch of Republicans with Republican views got so upset with the party they renounced their membership, but still vote in line.
That's the argument that should be made (though I don't think its an entirely accurate way of making it).
I disagree that independants are just jaded Republicans. It's a quaint way to disregard a beating amongst those that don't claim a party affiliation (as is the case with a ton of people who fall on both sides of the political spectrum), but it's not true.
What may be true, however, is that the electorate has made a slight shift to the left due to the energy created among the D voting base. In so doing, it has convinced what were formerly independents to call themselves Democrats (afterall, it's a popular thing to do right now with the coolest President since Kennedy in office).
In essence, the 'independent gap' is somewhat explained and offset by the rise in Democratic turnout. It seems very likely that the Democrats simply turned some independents into Democrats over the last 2 election cycles.
That said - good luck keeping them. Independents are the least informed, least reliable voters in the world. When you no longer have a guy that looks like a badass with his jacket slung open and a cig hanging off his lip as your candidate, you're going to lose some of the easily swayed that have so readily answered his call.
The answer for the Republicans is very simple - they need to inject some youth and enthusiasm into this party to try to inspire that same 're-branding' of independents. They need competent young candidates with experience and cross-over appeal.
They need Marco Rubio and Nikki Haley. Here's hoping neither of them do anything stupid over the next 4 years and can avoid saying rape too loudly.