Poll: More Americans Say They Are Politically Independent

By Linda Ong | long@kolr10.com

Published 01/09 2014 08:27PM

Updated 01/09 2014 11:48PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The mid-term elections are coming up later this year and a new Gallup poll found that 42 percent of Americans identify themselves as politically independent.

Some people call it the moderate middle, others consider it post-ideological, but whatever term you use to define declaring independence from both political parties, it's something that many Americans can identify with.

Rock Norat and Caesar Ambriz used to be on opposite political party lines, but are now on the same page.

“I'm an independent,” says Norat. “I used to be a republican. Basically changed a lot, consider self conservation. Felt that there was a ton of corruption in that party. I got fed up of it.”

“I have been more apt to vote democratic,” says Ambriz. “But I’m steering away from voting that political view because of the politics with democrats and republicans alike. They don’t seem to resolve anything.”

And it's not just Norat and Ambriz. According to a new Gallup poll, 42 percent of Americans also say that they're politically independent.

“It's a way for people to not feel like they are a part of the partisan bickering that's going on,” says Brian Calfano, associate professor of political science at Missouri State University.

Contributing to the rise of independents include growing sentiment with the economy, frustration with congress, and increasing distrust of the government.

But are the numbers reflective of the American population?

“When you get down it, and people go to the voting booth, nine times out of 10 they're going to go with a party candidate that aligns with their party preferences,” says Calfano. “We don't have five or six parties. We have two. Going to decide with one or the other doesn't erase party preference.”

But for people like Georgeanna Hawkins, working at minimum wage, being independent is more than just a political label. She wants to see more from both democratic and republicans.

“I want to see more jobs being created, the government working more for the people and less for themselves,” says Hawkins. “If they saw people out here doing what they need to do, they could understand. They need to walk a mile in our shoes.”

KOLR10 spoke to four voters, all of whom said they fell into the independent category.

Some added that a bulk of their frustration stems from feeling penalized with additional debt and burdens when they tried to better themselves. For example, they go to college but tuition just keeps going up making it hard to get ahead and they feel both republicans and democrats are not in touch with the struggles of the everyday American.

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