"Breaking" Independents?

Tales of very high Democratic-ballot voting is driving analysis, that's been building over the past few days, that Independent voters are breaking to Obama at the expense of McCain -- thus helping Romney.

Don't believe it, as I mentioned in a previous post. (And as a wiser man discusses here.)

I have found zero evidence of Independent voters in New Hampshire deciding between McCain and Obama, and common sense argues against the existence of such creatures. On the driving issues of the day -- Iraq, immigration, health care -- the two could hardly be more at odds. In fact, the two slates of candidates could hardly represent more fundamentally different approaches.

What's happening -- and not a surprise, really -- is that Democratic-leaning Independents are excited to vote in the big Obama-Clinton showdown (primarily for Obama), while Republican-leaning Independents are lukewarm about participating in the McCain-Romney battle.

That relative lack of enthusiasm is probably hurting McCain, but probably not more than what the polling models accounted for. For Romney to get an advantage from Independents staying home, he needs lower than expected Republican turnout; the Democratic turnout shouldn't matter.

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