Arizona’s Citizens Clean Election Commission had a panel discussion on Arizona’s Independent Voter in Tempe a few nights ago, based on information from a Nov. 2015 report by ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy.
Here’s the hyperlink to the report: http://www.azcleanelections.gov/docs/default-source/announcements/independentvoters_final.pdf?sfvrsn=2
I just perused it and basically the report says that 37 % (or 1.219 million) of Arizona’s registered voters are declaring themselves as Independent (“Other”) – more in numbers than registered Republicans and Democrats. The report describes them as “an unlikely group of like-minded and unlike-minded individuals who seem to take pride in their independence from organized and recognized political parties”, and perceived as “unharnessed”, “unpredictable” (page 1).
Independent voters also have a poor track record of turnout in both primary and general elections. The interesting fact is that based on their telephone survey of 2000 Arizona voters (400 Dems, 400 Republicans, 1200 Independents), the Morrison report states that independent voters tend to fall in the “moderate” category.
Many of these survey respondents believed there was “too much partisan conflict in the Arizona state capitol” and that being independent meant “more choices” and “less commitment with the parties” (page 3). Participants stated “We are not a party. We are a mindset” (page 4) of independent voters who are allegedly “more informed” and “more critical of what politicians say…”.
In sum, on page 6, the report states ” The intensified political battle for the independent vote by Republicans and Democrats is not, in actuality, for all independents…The challenge is to capture moderate independents, those in the middle who see themselves as separate from both political party philosophies and whose vote cannot be easily predicted or won.”
The Morrison report also has an appendix at the end with survey results for various topics such as campaign funding, better elections, education, social issues (pages 12 to 23).
In Pima County, number of registered voters (from Pima County Recorder: https://www.recorder.pima.gov/VoterStats/voterttlsdist
Americans Elect 70
Note there are more Independents/Others than Republican voters in Pima County.