WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans call themselves politically independent than at any point in the last 75 years, according to a new poll. Those who do align themselves with a party have become sharply polarized, particularly on issues important in this year’s presidential and congressional campaigns.
The Pew Research Center poll shows that an unprecedented 38 percent of adults rejected both parties and call themselves independents. Only 32 percent now say they are Democrats and 24 percent now call themselves Republicans.
Independent voters are critical in competitive general elections. The survey also found that the face of the independent voter is changing, with more Hispanic and younger voters saying they are politically independent.
The poll found the remaining Democrats and Republicans have grown more ideologically divided in the past decade.