October 2, 2008
Forget about red and blue voters, those hyper-partisan Democrats and Republicans who dominated the past decade and turned American politics into a blood sport. Think about the purple people who are starting to elbow the reds and blues aside.
The purple label designates the independent, middle-of-the-road voters who have made a comeback and now occupy the main battleground of 2008.
It reveals three big clusters of respondents:
REDS — A largely conservative group of Republicans, who made up 41 percent of the national sample.
BLUES — Mostly Democrats who could be labeled liberal, who totaled 34 percent.
PURPLES — Totaling a full 24 percent of those surveyed, they did not align with the political beliefs and values of reds or blues. The same respondents were asked about everything from their preferred leisure-time activities and their favorite radio and TV shows, Web sites, movies, games, and sports.