Florida Independent Voter Attitude Survey
Read the Press Release
Methodology and Respondents
■ Open Primaries conducted a statewide phone survey of voters in Florida from 5 Jan 2016- 30 Jan 2016. Our list consisted of a random sample of registered voters who are identified as Independent or unaffiliated.
■ Open Primaries wanted to gauge voters’ opinion on the political environment in Florida, learn their views on the upcoming Presidential Primary, and provide voter education about nonpartisan election reform.
■ The survey had 428 respondents from across the state.
Insights and Takeaways
■ There are 3.2 million registered independent or unaffiliated voters in Florida. They are not eligible to vote in the 2016 Presidential Primary. 88% of Florida’s independents believe that their exclusion is unfair and 87% want a more inclusive political process.
■ 95% of Florida’s independent voters want to focus on good candidates and the issues, not parties, with 88% believing that neither political party works for them.
■ Florida’s independent voters overwhelmingly support structural political change. 87% support a change to nonpartisan primaries, and 93% support a truly independent redistricting commission.
■ In addition to our survey questions, we asked independent voters if they were willing to sign a petition to the chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties in Florida urging them to open the 2016 Presidential Primaries to independent voters. 83% of respondents signed the petition.
In Florida, the number of voters registering as Independent has increased four fold since 1990— almost half of new registered voters. Voters are registering as Independent at a faster rate than all other parties combined. We asked respondents why so many voters may be registering as independent. Graphs 1-4 are their responses:
Florida currently uses a closed primary system, where voters must be members of a political party to vote in the primaries. This means Florida’s 3.2 million Independent or unaffiliated voters are completely shut out.
In July 2015, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the state legislature intentionally drew congressional district maps to favor Republican legislators. The court then ordered the legislature to redraw the map. In other states, Arizona for example, elected officials don’t get to draw their own maps. Instead, there is an independent commission charged with the task.
For more information contact:
Associate Director of Outreach