That leaves the unwashed middle, call them independents, perhaps moderates, certainly the non-affiliated. Those basically peeved at both parties and how both parties govern for only their base and not America as a whole.
Hey that's ME! Except that even I can see that Dems are actually trying to help Americans.
But they're going about it completely wrong and are doomed to fail.
What's going on across the aisle is pretty much sheer madness at this point. You're either a part of it or you aren't. What we've seen over the last five decades or so is that republicans have stopped governing. They are the anti-government party who wants an authoritarian strong man to lead them. I've totally washed my hands of all that nonsense.
The ummm...madness on the Dem side is to raise wages, make college affordable, provide healthcare where it's needed...that sort of thing. You know...actually taking care of Americans rather than the American corporate class.
I'll agree the Republicans are great at being the party out of power, but lousy when it comes to governing. Trump was just a caretaker, he didn't accomplish a thing. At least legislative wise. He didn't even try. Trump is still very much disliked by independents, But congressional parties are pretty much even, independents disdain both. Independents view them equally, 25% view both congressional party members favorably, 67% unfavorably,
Okay, a shot in the dark here. I don't think it's what each party is trying to do or not trying to do. It all boils down to the perception that neither party is willing to work with each other for the betterment of the country. Reality plays little to nothing in perception which comes back to the link I posted on compromise. It also comes down to wanting a functional government, with both parties at loggerheads, their view, perception is we don't have a functioning government. Nothing to back this up, like I said, a shot in the dark. I probably didn't hit anything, not even the barn door. But perceptions play a vital role in how independents vote.
I agree with the concept that it is "functional government" more than "compromise" that motivates independent voters. But, then they vote against that paradigm in off-year elections thinking "balance" - which doesn't work, but brings gridlock. To really achieve a functional government, they need to vote consistently for one party (currently, the Democrats). As noted, the GOP has failed to govern every time they've had control since the 1980s, thanks mostly to Reagan's pledge to be incompetent. It's the only promise he ever fulfilled.
There's a long history that shows independents or swing voters don't or won't continue to vote for one party. If they did, they wouldn't be independents/swing voters. They'd be members of one or the other party or at least affiliated with one or the other.
It might be, here we go again, the two major parties won't work together, so let's make a change. Maybe the other party, the out of power party will work with the other party, we know the party in power won't.
Interesting is when the Democrats controlled the House for 40 straight years, 1955-94, the change occurred at the presidential level. Eisenhower, then Nixon/Ford then Reagan and G.H.W. Bush. Interrupted only by JFK, LBJ and Carter. 28 out of the 40 years of straight Democratic house control, the president was a Republican. Divided government. Perhaps subconsciously, independents don't like one party in full control?
1994 Democrats in full control, presidency, senate and House, independents elected republicans to gain control of the house and senate for the first time in 40 years.
2006 Republicans in full control, presidency, senate and House, independents elect Democrats to regain control of the House and Senate
2010 Democrats in full control of the presidency, House and Senate, independents elect Republicans to the house giving them control there and in 2014 complete their ouster by giving republicans control of the senate.
2018 Republicans in full control, presidency, house and senate. Independents vote Democratic control of the house and in 2020 give the senate to Democrats plus electing a Democratic president.
If not for 9-11, I'd wager independents would have given Democrats control of the House and senate in 2002 instead of waiting until 2006.
I don't know why. Why independents would vote for a president and then in the next midterm, vote against him and his party. What I do know is every president since 1935 has lost house seats in his first midterm with 2002 being the lone exception. Independents will vote for a president one year and in the next election vote for the opposing party in congress. A very long traditional voting habit for independents.
Perhaps there is a reason. Independents/swing voters have a huge dislike, even a disdain for both major parties. If they didn't, they wouldn't be independents. They'd belong to one or the other. So it may be as simple as independents taking out their dislike, distrust, disdain on the party in power or control. The party in power, in control is usually, almost always the party that gets most of the media's attention, the star attraction in the news, the headliner, the star, the party out of power, mostly an afterthought. Maybe, anyone's guess is as good as mine.