Here’s the thing: as the conventions near, there’s very little that either party can do to persuade a Republican or a Democrat to vote for the other side. The parties are entrenched.
And here’s the other thing: Independents are notoriously unreliable as a voting block. This is just my opinion. I have not done any research on the subject. I will not site any statistics or quote some expert. I will just say that an Independent is likely to be fed up with both parties and vote for the lesser of two evils. If they care about the rights of workers, immigrants, women and gays, they’ll vote Dem. If they care more about the deficit, taxes, getting even richer, preserving a comfortable lifestyle, digging, drilling and fracking to extract every drop of fossil fuels mother earth has to give, well, they’ll vote for the GOP.
Honestly, this time around, I don’t even think the Independents will make the difference. The difference maker will be turnout. Whichever party turns out the most voters on election day will win. This is why the GOP has pandered to the vocal and reactionary Christian fundamentalist Tea Party base. If they don’t turn out, President Obama wins in a landslide. The GOP also knows that if the Dems have a high turnout on election day, it’s all over which is why they have done everything possible to make voting more difficult for poorer urban voters who are more likely to vote Democrat are not likely to have a government approved ID, don’t drive and won’t be able to get one in time to vote. They claim voter ID laws are necessary despite the fact that there has been a very low instance of voter fraud in the history of elections. To make it harder to vote is criminal and the biggest fraud of all. No, it won’t be the Independents who will swing the election, it’ll be the party turnouts in the swing states that will make the difference.
And here’s the last thing: I predict the campaigns and the superpacs will get uglier and uglier as we draw near to election day. It’s already pretty bad on both sides. It won’t be “vote for me because I am great and America deserves greatness” or “my jobs plan will get the economy moving”. Unfortunately, negative message will dominate. Scare tactics will prevail. We are going to hear more hate and vitriol on both sides. Stuff like: “he’s going to end medicare, roll granny off the cliff and bring in death panels”, or “the President will take away and redistribute your small business because you didn’t make that” or “Mitt’ll melt the polar ice-caps in his first 100 days” (he just might!) The idea is to scare you to vote. So the question becomes, who scares you the most?