Independent Voters Grow In Arizona, Can Make An Impact

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 2:54pm
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This year's gubernatorial race is shaping up to be one of Arizona's more competitive ones in several elections, especially in the Republican primary. What sort of impact could independents have in that and other primary races?

Over the past three years or so, independent voter registrations in Arizona have gone up by 140,000. Democrats have lost more than 40,000, and Republicans are down a few hundred. The growth of independents is not limited to Arizona. It has become a nationwide phenomenon.

So how can independents seriously affect elections? Have they already done so? Jackie Salit is the president of and author of the book "Independents Rising."

Arizona's primary system lets independents choose either a Republican or Democratic ballot, but a small percentage take advantage of the opportunity. Will that change this year? Bob Robb, Arizona Republic columnist, wrote about the growth of registered independents in his Sunday column.