Independents make up the largest voting bloc in the U.S., according to a Gallup report released on January 12.
Forty-three percent of Americans identify politically as independents, tying a 2014 record. This is up two percentage points from 2022. In 2023, most independents leaned Republican, which gives the party a slight edge.
A record low number of Americans identify with either party. U.S. adults identifying as either Democrat or Republican are tied (27%). Both the Democrat and Republican parties saw a one-point decline in party identification, with Democrats seeing a decline over the past three years, which has been linked to President Joe Biden’s popularity.
On the ideological spectrum, 36% of Americans surveyed describe their political views as conservative, 36% hold a moderate position and 25% are liberal. Gallup found ideological identification hasn’t changed much in recent years and that the most recent figures “essentially match” those of the past decade.
“This presidential election year is likely to see a drop in the percentage of political independents, as has occurred in six of the past seven presidential election years (all but 2012), amid intense focus on national politics and the two major parties,” Jeffrey M. Jones, senior editor, writes. “Still, even with a slight election-year drop — which has ranged from two to five points — independents will remain the largest, and arguably most persuadable, group of voters. In what is expected to be a close election contest, it is critical for each party, but especially Democrats, to nominate a candidate who can appeal to independent voters.”
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