Independents are the largest bloc of registered voters in Connecticut. According to Pollster.com, independents account for 42.5% of registered voters in the state, with only 36.8% registered Democrat and 20% registered Republican. In 2008, there were 24 active political parties in the state. Last year, another party joined that list: the Independent Party of Connecticut. The organization was established in April 2009, I believe, as a local party out of Milford, but has apparently since grown by leaps and bounds. The IPC is preparing to run a full slate of candidates this fall. Earlier this week, the party’s candidate for governor, Tom Marsh, held a press conference on the steps of the state capitol building after submitting the organization’s ballot access petitions. From the announcement at the IPC Blog:
Independent Party Submits 11,000 Signatures for Statewide Slate, Announces 30 Candidates for Legislative Offices . . . Gubernatorial candidate Tom Marsh and other leaders of the Independent Party will hold a press conference on Tuesday, July 20 at 3pm on the north steps of the State Capitol Building in Hartford, Connecticut to announce the submission of 11,000 signatures to place a statewide slate of candidates on the ballot in the general election in November 2010. 7,500 validated signatures of Connecticut registered voters are required by state law.
And from a follow-up post:
In previous elections Independents qualified for large sums of public money, and in many towns have gotten in excess of 25% of the total vote. Our trust with the community is becoming well known and widely respected. The Independent party has achieved this record by quietly working, and working hard to rise up from nothing in 2006 to an evolutionary paradox that has become loved and hated at the same time by the very political duopoly it threatens to challenge.
When independents serve to sink the Democrat, the Republicans cheer and befriend them and when the Independents serve to sink a Republican the Democrats cheer and befriend them. The reckoning is already here in many towns, and the lesson of power is sometimes in the hands of those you would least expect.
Deciding elections on propaganda, lies and coercion alone no longer works in many towns across the state and the Independent Party is already in a position to tell the two party duopoly that we do not like their candidate or the lies they drop in our mailboxes. In many instances by way of cross endorsements we are now becoming more able to tell corrupt lawmakers that public errors can and will be corrected when we know better.
The state’s Democratic-Republican political establishment may be somewhat jarred by these and similar developments. They have begun an aggressive propaganda campaign aimed at luring voters to register with the ailing legacy parties, as I noted earlier this month. In related news, John Mertens, who is seeking the Independent Party of Connecticut’s endorsement in his US Senate campaign, has blasted the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute for “misleading voters and misrepresenting the results in their recent survey.” From a previous post here at IPR:
In the most recent Q-Poll, voters were asked “If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Richard Blumenthal the Democrat and Linda McMahon the Republican, for whom would you vote?”In fact, there are three candidates gauranteed to be on the ballot in November: one Democrat, one Republican and John Mertens, Independent.
In addition, Quinnipiac presents results from the poll for Blumenthal, McMahon and “some other candidate” although they do not present the third choice as an option in the poll.
“Doug Schwartz and the Q-Poll staff know that if ‘John Mertens’ or even ’some other candidate’ is not included as a choice in the poll, it skews the results,” said Mertens. “Polls should be unbiased and accurate. Unfortunately, this poll is neither. They have a responsibility to accurately reflect who is on the ballot, and to accurately present the possible results of their own question.”