War of Independents

War of Independents

by digby

There's been a lot of chatter today (aside from the hurricane) about the new Pew poll's finding that large numbers of Americans don't want compromise at all costs after all. Indeed, more and more of them say they want the President to confront the Republicans.

But Greg Sargent homes in the really important part of this:

The poll finds that there's been a six point rise, up to a plurality of 36 percent, among overall independents who want to see Obama stand up to the GOP. Only 21 percent of indys say he should go along with Republicans more often, and 27 percent say he has the balance right.

But more crucially, the poll breaks down Dem-leaning and GOP-leaning independents — and it finds that 51 percent of Dem-leaning independents want him to more aggressively confront the GOP.

Dem-leaning independents are the ones it’s crucial Obama not lose. As Alan Abramowitz noted the other day, there’s a myth out there that holds that independents are a bloc of free-floating, wholly independent voters. Rather, they mostly lean towards one party or the other.

And the Dem-leaning independents want Obama to fight the GOP harder, rather than be too compromising with Republicans. That’s the way to hang on to them.

That sounds right. Republicans have shown themselves to be willing to take the country over the cliff and a fair number of people are catching on. And as Greg points out the President is never going to appeal to GOP leaning Independents --- it's the Democratic leaners who are in danger of defecting. And they're just as fed up with this appeasement as the rest of us.