Independents may be looking for a change in the party in power, says pollster

Pollster Mallory Newall said in an interview that aired Tuesday on “What America’s Thinking” that independents may be looking for a change in the party in power ahead of the midterm elections. 

“This has held pretty consistently that independents favor a Democrat on the generic ballot,” Newall, research director at Ipsos, told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha. “A majority of independents feel the country is headed in the wrong direction.”

“What it tells me about independents, with a majority believing the country is on the wrong track, coupled with their preference for a generic Democrat, is that this is sort of a change environment for them,” she said. 

“They may be looking for a different party in power,”  she continued. 

Election analyst Henry Olsen said that while midterms tend to be bad for the party in power, it could be magnified this year due to independent women in suburbs.  

“I do think this year it’s going to be a little more intensified because of the strong feelings, that particularly independent women have about President Trump,” Olsen,  a senior fellow at the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, said. 

“They opposed him significantly in 2016. They haven’t changed their mind, and I think that’s showing up in a lot of these suburban districts,” he continued. 

A new Quinnipiac University poll found that 50 percent of independents said that they would support a Democratic candidate in the midterms, while 39 percent said they would support a Republican candidate. 

— Julia Manchester

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