New data: GOP's gap with independent voters
Interviews with midterm voters show Republicans continually underperform Democrats with one of the ripest targets in politics — independents who say they don't lean toward either party.
Why it matters: The interviews, by AP VoteCast (methodology), show a critical mass of moderates aren't thrilled with Democrats — but are resistant to a MAGA-fied GOP.
The data show Republicans have been stuck in the high 30s among independents in each of the past three elections.
- These voters made up 12% of the electorate in 2018, 5% in 2020 and 8% in 2022.
- 20% of independents didn't vote for either party in 2022 (the missing votes in the chart above).
Between the lines: In November, independents didn't entirely blame Biden for the bad economy, even though they rated it poorly, AP reports.
- Few independents said the economy is doing well — and about two-thirds disapproved of Biden's handling of it.
- But independents were slightly more likely to say inflation is the result of factors outside Biden's control.
Reality check: That nuance was often missing from GOP messaging.