NPR gives out the dirty little secret about “independents”

Apparently there is no such animal:

“It’s a shame that … more people don’t do that,” said Amin Sadri, 23, a Florida independent. “That more people, for lack of a better word, they almost feed at the trough. They are set on a certain mindset, so they only listen and gather information that is already predestined to go in a certain direction.”

Yeah Sadri is an “independent”. He doesn’t make judgements based on party…

Sadri for example, supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election and plans to do so again in 2012. Going back to the presidential race between Republican Bob Dole and Democrat Bill Clinton in 1996 — when Sadri was a small child — the disputed 2000 race between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush, and the 2004 election between Bush and Democrat John Kerry, Sadri said he has always wanted the Democrat to win.

…until it’s time to vote. So why does he not join the side he is actually on? Can you say: Plausible deniability

So why isn’t he a registered Democrat?

“See, that’s the problem,” he said. “As soon as I say that I’m a Democrat, people look at me and say, ‘Oh, you believe in this, you believe in this, you believe in this,’ and I don’t!”

Yeah sure he doesn’t. If that’s the truth, if he doesn’t believe what the democrats believe, then he should be persuadable, right…

This fall, Sadri will count himself as an independent voter. But if the campaigns think he’s persuadable, they’ll be wasting their time.

…or not.

Any Massachusetts voter who has seen a state with 50% vote democrat over and over knows the real story.

For many people, the ability to deny deny deny for social reasons means a lot and the faux message of being “independent” is a matter of self-esteem: I’m above the fray.

It’s BS and the NPR story talks about a fascinating study to show it:

Nosek and Hawkins proved the test was measuring people’s real attitudes by asking the volunteers to evaluate different policies. Some were labeled Democratic ideas. Others were labeled Republican. Then Nosek secretly switched the labels. The idea that used to be called Democratic was now labeled Republican, and the idea that used to be Republican was now labeled Democratic.

“What we found was that independents who were implicitly Democratic tended to favor the plan proposed by Democrats,” Nosek said. “And independents who were implicitly Republican tended to favor the plan proposed by Republicans. And it didn’t matter which plan was which. emphasis mine

One interesting thing on this story. I listened to the audio and read the transcript from above there is one difference that jumped out at me

Referring to the tests to identify what independents actually said:

Independents? Some showed no bias for either party. But the vast majority did.

But in the online story it said this

Independents? Some showed no bias for either party. But many did.

What is the take away? As polls usually show “independents” as 12-16 percent of the vote, the reality is you are talking 3-4% TOPS. The means one thing:

Every election is a base election and a smart candidate will act accordingly.

You can listen to the story here.

Update: I owe a hat tip to Hot Air headlines