By Ken Binghenheimer
Independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats, and ultimately will be the deciding votes in the upcoming elections. A poll released today by the non-partisan group No Labels shows that a majority of voters as a whole support politicians who solve problems rather than sticking to a party line, and the vast majority of independents fall into that "problem-solver" description. These results suggest that the candidates who are able to demonstrate that they are ready to find common ground and reach compromise solutions will fare best in November.
The poll of 1,004 registered voters identified 54 percent of them as "Problem Solving Voters," or PSVs in the No Labels shorthand. These voters were those who:
Fully 94 percent of independent voters in the poll were identified as PSVs. An election held today would be extremely close among these voters, with the Romney/Obama split being 51-49. Among non-PSV voters in the survey, Obama prevailed, 52-48.
PSVs feel it is very important for problem solving candidates to work with members of the opposing party to find solutions (84 percent), and they want those candidates to be inventive in coming up with new ideas (71 percent) and to not feel bound by pledges (67 percent).
One more point that should give pause to hyper-partisan incumbents who refuse to meet somewhere in the middle with their opposing members: 82 percent of PSVs feel that "The best way to ensure that things get done in Washington would be to elect a new group of leadership that is committed to solving problems."
According to No Labels, the poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percent. The survey was conducted between June 4 and June 11.