Virtual Discussion: Who Are Independent Voters?

Photo Credit: Dyana Wing So / Unsplash

By the end of 2023, the average percentage of Americans that self-identified as independent was at 43%, which tied a record high set in 2017. However, even in an election year, this percentage isn't dropping.

Who exactly are these independent voters? Open Primaries, Unite America, and University of Arizona's Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy hosted a special edition of Open Primaries' ongoing virtual discussion series, Primary Buzz, to answer this question.

The discussion, led by the Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy, featured Open Primaries President John Opdycke, Unite America's Tyler Fisher, Change Research’s Sumati Thomas, and ASU’s Thom Reilly.

At the heart of the conversation was a new study from the Unite America Institute in collaboration with Change Research titled, "Not Invited to the Party Primary: Independent Voters and the Problem with Closed Primaries." In it, the groups explored who independent voters are demographically, why they registered independent, and their political beliefs. 

The study is one of several bodies of research stacking up on the rise of independent voters, and what it means for the body politic and voting rights as tens of millions of these voters are denied access to the most critical stage of the elections process every election cycle. 

Check out the full discussion above. 

Image reference
Photo Credit: Dyana Wing So / Unsplash