Here's an interesting new Pew Poll about polarization. Apparently there are more swing voters, even as the two parties are more distinct and polarized, which says that these people really don't know their own minds. (After all, if the two parties are very far apart, you'd think it would make it more likely that a person would pick one or the other, not go back and forth.)
While Republicans and Democrats have been moving further apart in their beliefs, both groups have also been shrinking. Pew Research Center polling conducted so far in 2012 has found fewer Americans affiliating with one of the major parties than at any point in the past 25 years. And looking at data from Gallup going back to 1939, it is safe to say that there are more political independents in 2012 than at any point in the last 75 years.
Currently, 38% of Americans identify as independents, while 32% affiliate with the Democratic Party and 24% affiliate with the GOP. That is little changed from recent years, but long-term trends show that both parties have lost support.
Now look at this and tell me what's wrong with that:
Do you see what I see? That's right, the Democratic share has been fairly constant. The new Independents are coming from the Republican ranks. Why Pew chose to say that it's been an equal fall off for both parties is anyone's guess, but it doesn't appear to be true.
The actual Pew Report - a lot of good statistical information.
This is encouraging news, unless the independents (and some Democrats) will still be voting Republican, like it happened in Wisconsin.