Voters who declare themselves independent of partisan affiliation are ascendant in the American electorate.
In 2016, the Pew Research Center found that 34 percent described themselves as politically independent, outnumbering self-described Democrats (33 percent) and Republicans (29 percent).
Although there is some debate over how independent these voters truly are, their self-designation suggests an abandonment of partisanship for a different ideal: casting a ballot for the individual who seems best in a given race.
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