In a primary election in the not-too-distant future, a handful of voters will come tottering into the polls on walkers and canes and decide which candidates everyone will vote on in the general election.
OK, I’m exaggerating a little.
Only one in five voters — those declaring themselves either a Democrat or Republican — marked a ballot in the June primary, and yet more New Mexicans consider themselves independents. “Declined to state,” or DTS, in bureaucratese. Nationally, independents now make up 45 percent of the electorate.
Studies show that young Americans increasingly describe themselves as political independents, and recently an Albuquerque Journal poll showed the same trends in New Mexico. For 18 to 24-year-olds, 38 percent are independents, compared with 36 percent Democrats and 25 percent Republicans. The older the voter, the more likely they are to occupy a party camp.
Our younger generation is disgusted by the deadlocks in Congress (aren’t we all) and they don’t want to be hemmed in by the narrow ideologies of either major party.
Who can blame them?