Political Dissatisfaction Swelling Third Party Ranks

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This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 22, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


GLENN BECK, HOST: This is something that nobody is going to tell you about. The blue line is the Democratic line. The red line is the Republicans. Start putting up the Republicans.

Here's the loss of the Republicans. Here's the loss of the Democrats. That's the independent voter.

Both of these parties are coming down. The media is only telling you about the loss of the Republicans, but the Democrats are losing it, too. The independents are going up.

What does that tell you? That America is sick and tired of the games of both parties.


BECK: OK. That was, I don't even know how many weeks ago on this program.

I want to show you this chart again. This is a brand new chart out. If we can take it — by the way, this is John Avlon. He's the author of "Independent Nation." He's going to walk us through.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

This is — again, here's the Republican line: You can see it has fallen from 26 percent to 22 percent.

Now let's the put the Democratic line up there: You see the Democrats started at 39. It slowed down all the way to 33. They're actually losing more than the Republicans are, but they're on the same path to hell.

Now, let me show you the independents. Here's the independent line — remember I told you they were about to cross? Look at this. They crossed and now are up to 39 percent. This is the first time — it hasn't been like this in 70 years since we have been taking this poll.
So, now, in 70 years, independents are the leading party or actually the anti-party, wouldn't you say?

JOHN AVLON, SENIOR FELLOW, MANHATTAN INSTITUTE: Yes, that's exactly right. Independent voters are the largest and fasting growing segment of the electorate.

In the last five months, you've have seen a huge correction from the post-election euphoria. It should be — this chart should be a huge wake up call to the partisans in both parties in Washington, because independents are declaring their independence. And it's largely a result of two things: Independents tend to be fiscally conservative, socially liberal/libertarian, strong on national security.

So, the Republican Party has continued to decline in part because of their playing to the base tilt. The Democratic Party starts to decline and independents outpace them right around mid-February, early March. What's happening then? That's when the bailouts and the budget start getting proposed. And all of a sudden, you start seeing a move that is way more fiscally liberal than independents are comfortable with, and that's when they pull into the lead.

BECK: OK. So, what's interesting to me is two things — one of which is both of them are tracking down. And if you see — if you see this line here, the Republicans, I think a lot of this is Republican growth here in the independents, wouldn't you say?

AVLON: To some extent.

BECK: Until January — until it really kicks in, Republicans weren't happy with the big progressive John McCain. So, they were kind of bailing and sick of it, no?

AVLON: I disagree with you on that. I think there is — Republicans are leaving the party because they lost their credibility on fiscal issues.

BECK: Yes.

AVLON: But independents tend to be more close to the Democratic Party on social issues. So, the more conservative the Republican Party looked, the more social litmus test it got, it loses moderate Republicans. They start registering independent.

The Colin Powell vote starts going independent.

BECK: Can I ask you a question?

AVLON: Sure.

BECK: I really think the winning strategy, what America wants right now is just common sense. What you do in your bedroom is your own business. I don't really care, OK?

AVLON: Exactly.

BECK: You know, this doesn't mean that I'm for gay marriage, but I'm for — I'm not saying you can't get married either. If you want to do that in your state, do that in your state, whatever, I don't care.


BECK: But we're not for social programs. We are people that just want common sense fiscal responsibility.

AVLON: That's right.

BECK: And a candidate or the party that comes up with that, and leaves everything else alone, would rocket to the top.

AVLON: And individual freedom. That's exactly right. And this is what's been missing. The last time independents were this prominent was around 1992. What happened? Both parties abandoned fiscal responsibility and Ross Perot rode the lead.

It's also a generational thing. There's a generation of young voters that do not think in terms of left versus right, black versus white, or red state versus blue. These folks have a multiplicity of choice everyplace and they are declaring their independence from the two-party system.

BECK: Give me one more minute — one more minute. I have to ask you this. I'm afraid that these guys down here are going to sense that both of these are not for end independents, they're not for freedom — individual freedoms, OK? They're both controlling and both in different directions.

AVLON: That's right.


AVLON: And more polarizing than ever before.

BECK: Right. So, these guys, they're so low, they're going to say, "Oh, well, we could be that "Tea Party" party," they will try to co-opt this movement and it will be disastrous for them because — these people know that these people are lying, and these people are lying. It's going to take an independent, somebody to come out and go, "You both stink on ice."

AVLON: And say, "You know what? You're both controlled just proportionally by special interests on either side. We know that's bull. We know that's not the way you are (ph)."

BECK: Either these parties clean up their house enough to be able to turn it around, or are they...

AVLON: Either could. Look, independents like Barack Obama. They're inspired by his rhetoric. It's the fiscal record that's starting to give him trouble — and they realize the influence of far-left Democrats in the House, in particular.

Republicans should have abridged these folks, if they could restore their credibility on fiscal responsibility and then get real about individual freedoms, not just the rhetoric but the reality...

BECK: Right.

AVLON: ...they could claim the independents.

But as long as there is that disconnect, as long as both parties are preaching to their base, these folks, the new generation, are going to say, "You know what, why is politics the last place I should be satisfied with the choice between brand A and brand B. That's not the way I live my life."

BECK: Thank you very much, sir.

AVLON: Thank you.

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