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Today’s headlines – from the LA to the New York Times – are all about independent voters. They’re a political force, it seems. They may swing the midterm elections in two weeks.

Yes. Well. You knew that, of course. Spot-on’s been predicting the rise of “none of the above” as a political force since 2004. Congratulate yourself, you regular readers, for being ahead of the curve.

There have been lots of attempts recently to capture this phenomenon by the rabid partisans on either side of the political fence. Over at DailyKos, they’re calling this group “Libertarian Democrats” and, of course, claiming they’re just like them. And at PoliticsCentral aka PajamasMedia they had a content to name these unaligned voters who they began by calling “X21,” “Freerangers,” an ugly name if there ever was one.

Pajama’s problems with naming things is, of course, well established. Kos’ pandering, equally so. In their rush to join the, er, party, both sides miss an important element of this growing segment of the electorate: It’s dissatisfaction with politics-as-usual springing from its deep-seated belief in individual action. Both beliefs keep this group from affiliating with a single political party. As Kirk Johnson notes in today’s New York Times, their vote has to be earned over and over, a time-consuming and tedious process.

At Spot-on, we call these folks “Progressive Libertarians” and we’ve been watching this trend since 2003. We see elements of it in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s poltics, in Eliot Spitzers’ campaign for New York governor, in California Governor Arnold Schwarzengger’s careful efforts to make sure – this time around – that he takes no vote for granted, in Joe Lieberman’s pending victory in Connecticut and in Bill Clinton’s and Bill Gates’ philanthropic efforts.

So, for us, the rise of the independent voter is old news. Or, as we like to gloat (with reason!): We say it here first, you can read it there later.

Those of you who like being first might consider a subscription to our weekly newsletter (it’s free, it’s fun and we won’t sell your name to anyone!). Those of you who like more regular updates can subscribe to our RSS feed. Updates via RSS are also available via MyYahoo and Bloglines.

As always, our thanks for reading. There is no greater compliment.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 10:27 AM | Permalink

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