People Over Party: Bridging the Partisan Divide in Virginia
THE INDEPENDENT COALITION
An overwhelming majority of voters in Virginia (82%) say they are open to supporting independent candidates who run for the state legislature. Our survey found that independent voters span the political spectrum, with a plurality identifying as centrist (35%).
The potential base of support for independent candidates extends far beyond independent voters themselves (92%) to large majorities of both Democrats (77%) and Republicans (75%). This potential base includes about two-thirds of those who
say they have voted for “only Democrats” (72%) or “only Republicans” (56%) in the past.
PEOPLE OVER PARTY
The greatest appeal of independent candidates, with 74% agreement, is the notion that they “can find common ground and bridge the partisan divide.” Voters also find independents appealing because they can “represent all of the people, not just those from their party” and they are “not beholden to party bosses and special interests.”
desire for sturctural reform
When asked about a wide range of structural reforms designed to fix the political system, a coalition of Democrats, Republicans and independents supported a broad range of proposals. 75% supported publicly financed, clean-elections campaigns, 65% supported redistricting reform and 52% called for randomizing the order candidates appear on the ballot.