The Purple Principle
S1 E3 The Forty Million Missing: America’s Independent Voters and Voices
Jul 9, 2020 · 24 min
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The Purple Principle, Season 1, Episode 3. The Forty Million Missing: America’s Independent Voters and Voices

By most measures, the US has over 40 million independent or unaffiliated voters representing a third or more of the electorate. Yet despite large and growing numbers, independents are often missing from the national conversation.  

Independents have no cable channel or national newspaper. You rarely encounter an independent perspective on a major network or opinion page. And there’s a surprising lack of scholarship on them as well. Yet independents loom large come election time precisely because of their large numbers and low predictability. 

Who are American’s prominent, politically-engaged political independents? We’ll meet four in episode 3.

Laura Sibilia, a three-term independent legislator in the Vermont Assembly; John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries; Thom Reilly, current  Chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education; and Jacqueline Salit, President of Independentvoting.org.

Purple Principle theme and background music composed by Ryan Adair Rooney.

Resources

About Us. Independent Voting. https://tinyurl.com/y8gm53wa

Angus King. ProPublica. https://tinyurl.com/ydz8jdz7

Bernie Sanders. ProPublica. https://tinyurl.com/yapkmyvj

Chancellor Dr. Thom Reilly. Nevada System of Higher Education. https://tinyurl.com/yc7c9zjj

Governor Bill Walker. Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. https://tinyurl.com/yaj3qp67

Governor’s Roster 2020. National Governors Association. https://tinyurl.com/ydhoqxrl

Independent Voters. Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. https://tinyurl.com/y85ysckm

Laura Sibilia. Vermont General Assembly. https://tinyurl.com/yc2oe3pg

Voters, Media & Social Networks. Morrison Institute for Public Policy. https://tinyurl.com/y7j5c6wf

Mitzi Johnson. State of Vermont Speaker of the House. https://tinyurl.com/ycm9shsc; VoteSmart. https://tinyurl.com/y7hvnorv

Number of Legislators and Length of Term in Years. National Conference of State Legislatures. https://tinyurl.com/y84jxu2y

Party Affiliation. Gallup. https://tinyurl.com/ybjvcb3k

Phil Scott. Ballotpedia. https://tinyurl.com/y7kypco7

Primary elections state-by-state. Independent Voter Project. https://tinyurl.com/y9a2jv6j

State Partisan Composition. National Conference of State Legislatures. https://tinyurl.com/vkrlvyb

Vermont Reapportionment Statistics. VT Legislature. https://tinyurl.com/yb8lgb9k

Amash, Justin (7/14/19). Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving the GOP. The Washington Post. https://tinyurl.com/y2coqs4p

Astor, Maggie (9/26/19). Phil Scott is First GOP Governor to Back Impeachment Inquiry. The New York Times. https://tinyurl.com/yx8wkxre

Blake, Aaron (2/28/20). For the first time, there are fewer registered Republicans than independents. The Washington Post. https://tinyurl.com/tv9wrnn

Cook, Rhodes (7/12/18). Registering by Party: Where the Democrats and Republicans are Ahead. UVA Center for Politics. https://tinyurl.com/ybc99wg7

Drutman, Lee (10/19/19). Let a Thousand Parties Bloom. Foreign Policy. https://tinyurl.com/vroohc7

Greenblatt, Alan (6/26/19). GOP Holds Voter-Registration Advantage in Races for Governor and President. Governing. https://tinyurl.com/y3nfn83q

Jacobson, Louis (10/3/18). Where Independents Could Shake Up Race for Governor. Governing. https://tinyurl.com/y77b7bab

McCullum, April (11/8/18). How a Republican governor won blue Vermont – again. Burlington Free Press. https://tinyurl.com/yap8qtbj

Remsen, Nancy (3/2/16). Mitzi Johnson: Farmer, Musician and Vermont’s Chief Budget Writer. Seven Days: Vermont’s Independent Voice. https://tinyurl.com/ycqyspoc

Rindels, Michelle (8/7/17). Q&A with Thom Reilly, who starts today as chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education. The Nevada Independent. https://tinyurl.com/ycjmecc5

Spangler, Todd (5/16/20). Justin Amash abandons presidential hopes, says it’s too hard to break through. Detroit Free Press. https://tinyurl.com/y74g95bc

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