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Independents gear up to issue referendum on President Obama and Congress

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

The growing possibility that Republicans will make significant gains in Congress is a scenario that’s been replayed repeatedly throughout this campaign season.   While enthusiasm may be historically high with the Republican party looking to seize power away from incumbents, the fact that Republicans will likely take over the House (and possibly the Senate) really shouldn’t be shocking news today.The same has happened in many a midterm election. 

The increasingly influential role that Independents have played is really what should be making headlines at this time. Independent voters, after all, are one essential demographic that will carry the winning party over the finish line tonight.  As their voices are amplified with each passing election, some politicians are learning to listen. Others are learning the hard way as many Democrats will soon experience tonight. 

According to a recent survey by YouGov/ Polimetrix conducted of 800 Independent voters on behalf of Resurgent Republic (August 27- September 1), the agenda of President Obama and his Democratically-controlled Congress has reached a disconnect with Independent voters.   By a 2-1 margin, Independent voters shun President Obama’s vision. Beyond the primary concern over the economy, which is practically on everyone’s mind at this point, the survey found that Independent voters are disappointed with President Obama falling short of his promise to change the way that Washington works.  Also, the President’s policy stances on issues like stimulus spending and government bailouts are ones that don’t resonate very well with many Independent voters either. What’s also notable is that 73 percent of Independents polled agree with 93 percent of Republicans that the country is on the wrong track. 

If the President doesn't refine his policies after the congressional election, he most likely won’t see the support in 2012 he needs from Independents to propel him to a second term. As of right now, 36 percent of Independent voters give an unnamed Republican candidate the edge over the President in 2012. 34 percent say the opposite. 

While tonight’s election is a preliminary referendum on the President’s policies, they are an indictment against the majority party in Washington that enabled the President to get away with an unchecked agenda. This could be good news for Republicans if they play their cards right.  19 of Independents, according to the survey, believe that Republicans will be the party that listens to their concerns more so than Democrats. This is narrowly followed by 16 percent who believe that Republicans don’t listen to the concerns of Independents very well. 

Also, in a Resurgent Republic interactive survey of Independent voters on specific issues, it was found that if Independents stocked Congress with their own candidates, those Independent candidates would agree with Republicans on 29 out of 33 issues.  Ultimately, even though Independents will side with Republicans in this election, that is not an embrace of the GOP as a productive party. Instead, as pollster Scott Rasmussen pointed out in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, it is merely an expression of America's inherent desire for self-government.  

Once the federal government crosses that line, Independents will be ready to vote the incumbents out for once again violating that ideal of self-government that the Founding Fathers themselves sought to protect.

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