Independents' power increases - Tucson News Now

Independents' power increases

  • National PoliticsMore>>

  • Retracted CNN story a boon for president at war with media

    Retracted CNN story a boon for president at war with media

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 7:43 AM EDT2017-06-27 11:43:36 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 10:05 AM EDT2017-06-28 14:05:40 GMT
    President Donald Trump is using the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to resume his attack on the network's credibility.
    President Donald Trump is using the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to resume his attack on the network's credibility.
  • Few answers on travel ban as launch deadline looms

    Few answers on travel ban as launch deadline looms

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 3:53 AM EDT2017-06-27 07:53:13 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 4:38 AM EDT2017-06-28 08:38:23 GMT

    The Supreme Court's ruling to allow President Donald Trump's travel ban go forward in part leaves more questions than it answers.

    The Supreme Court's ruling to allow President Donald Trump's travel ban go forward in part leaves more questions than it answers.

  • Senate GOP shelves health bill, imperils 'Obamacare' repeal

    Senate GOP shelves health bill, imperils 'Obamacare' repeal

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 4:13 AM EDT2017-06-27 08:13:16 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 4:35 AM EDT2017-06-28 08:35:52 GMT

    Congress' nonpartisan budget referee says the Senate Republican health care bill would leave 22 million additional people uninsured in 2026 compared to President Barack Obama's law.

    Congress' nonpartisan budget referee says the Senate Republican health care bill would leave 22 million additional people uninsured in 2026 compared to President Barack Obama's law.

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Independents are now the largest voting bloc in Arizona, surpassing the GOP by a few thousand registered voters.

And in last night's primary, it can be argued independents played a role in the defeat of two Republican incumbents, Attorney General Tom Horne and Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal.

It may not show up in numbers, but it's part of an attitude shift.

Bad behavior won't be tolerated anymore and both had a history of slip ups.

A party which wants to gain or retain power must do more than pay lip service to the independent voter.

Most independents were affiliated with one party or the other until the recent past and will say they left the party because it became too extreme.

It doesn't mean extreme candidates will become a relic, they've always been around and will always be, but the more moderate voter will have a say even in low voter turnout elections like a primary.

It effectively takes some of the edge off of the partisan primaries which govern Arizona's politics.

Independent voters in Arizona's primaries can vote either party without changing registration.

That means the independents can support either parties nominee or punish them.

The party establishment is well aware of that and will likely moderate to make sure it doesn't offend too many independents or it will use that moderation to try to bring some voters into the fold. 

"They pay attention," says former State Lawmaker Peter Guidinoff. "They're harder to fool."

It means any candidate running for office has his or her base but it's likely not enough.

"You have to campaign more honestly and you have to take those voters more seriously," he says of independents. .

Arizona is following in the footsteps of California only more slowly and more quietly.

California got rid of its partisan primaries a few election cycles ago but Arizona voters barely voted in down.

"It will come back," Guidinoff predicts "but this is pretty close." 

Both methods reduce the power of partisan primaries.

Partisan primaries have long been accused of fostering extremism and the lack of compromise so pervasive in politics today.

Moderate, independents may change that, especially since it takes only a few of them to affect a low voter turnout election like yesterday's primary.

"When it comes to knowing what's going on, they're not going to be fed a bill of good," he says. "They're not going to buy it."



Powered by Frankly