Why Can’t US Parties Stop Voters from Fleeing?

US voters identifying as Independents recently hit a record of 43%: this trend has been growing quickly and steadily since 2008, at the cost of both Republican and Democratic voters.


One might assume that this means more Americans are identifying as moderate rather than liberal or conservative, but it’s not true:


In fact, the number of moderates has decreased slightly in the same time period, with both liberals and conservatives seeing a bump. (Interestingly, the plurality of Americans self-identify as conservative, but Republicans have the fewest registered voters.)

Approval for both parties dropping to historic lows may explain Americans’ flight towards being Independents despite no major changes in ideology, but let’s consider: why aren’t American parties able to change in a way that increases their share of registered voters? With voter support being the existential need for any political party, why are both losing voters like never before in modern politics? Is it related to Americans blocking out those who disagree with them?

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