As today's Tea Party movement demonstrates, Republicans and Democrats are out of touch with a huge section of the electorate. Despite two-party dominance in Washington, a full 38 percentof Americans identify themselves as independents who hold no allegiance to either the Democrats or the Republicans. Yet, as large as this group has become, they are only vaguely understood. Independent insider Jacqueline Salit chronicles the history of the independent movement on both ends of the spectrum and explores what these unclaimed voters mean for the future of American politics. She argues that over the last 30 years, an increasing number of Americans have come to feel disenfranchised and that opting for a third party candidate, whether it be Ross Perot or Ralph Nader, is a way to send a message of their discontent to Washington. She also shows how independent voters too often underestimate their own political power and offers a blueprint for how groups across the country can make their voices and issues heard.
Salit shows how: *Mike Bloomberg made moderation popular in a fiercely Democratic city *The far right failed to co-opt Ross Perot's independent movement, and their struggles to do the same with the Tea Party today *How the Clinton coalition alienated the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, laying the groundwork for liberal independents *Minorities are a potent force in today's third party politics ...and much more