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The Unite America Institute has undertaken a year-long project to explore how independent leaders can impact a political system that has become increasingly divided and dysfunctional: Can independents help to bridge the growing gap between Republicans and Democrats? Or will they be suffocated by a system that has historically been dominated by two major parties?

The result of that project is a groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind white paper that shares our findings for how independents can have a positive impact on our politics. As the paper concludes, the transformative impact that independents can have on governance is not only possible, it is already underway.

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Tune in to a Facebook Live discussion and Q&A about our report on Saturday, August 18 at 2:30 PM ET.  Our discussion will feature a panel that includes five independent legislators from Maine, Vermont, Colorado, and Alaska. 

You would be hard pressed to find another institution that would ever set itself up in this way, as two teams that meet separately and are constantly trying to unseat one another. You would never run a school board that way or a company that way. At some point we need to stop taking these things as normal that are actually nor normal.
— Charlie Wheelan, Unite America Co-Founder & Chairman

The Power of independents

The paper identifies strategies independents can use to bridge the growing partisan divide, but also identifies ways in which current incumbents are already leading a transformation of our politics.

Pictured above: The Alaska Bipartisan Governing Coalition. In 2016, after two independents were elected, they caucused with 5 moderate Republicans and members of the Democratic Party. For the first time in 30 years, they flipped control of their legislature. Together, they've addressed some of the long-standing challenges Alaska faces alongside an independent Governor. 

In Maine, neither party has a controlling majority in the state house because of six independents who caucus together. Across the country, 27 independents are serving in state legislatures. 

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