On issues, independents' viewpoints don't fit neatly into liberal or conservative frameworks.
This group hews more closely to Democrats than Republicans on , religion and national security. But it also is more conservative on several key issues including the economy, partly because of steady defections from the GOP, and more skeptical than two years ago of expanding government assistance, a typically Republican position. More in line with Democratic thinking, most independents support expanded government intervention and regulation in the , albeit reluctantly.
In another GOP trouble spot, the economy has overtaken social values among voters' most pressing concerns. The recession has essentially robbed Republicans of a potent political weapon. The survey also found that the percentage of Americans holding conservative views on family, homosexuality and gender roles has steadily declined over the past decade because younger people are less conservative than older people.
As one of those independents - and one who would have voted for John McCain had he been the nominee in 2000 (potentially the worst GOP decision in a century, if not ever) - I can assert that these comments from Pew are precisely the situation in contemporary politics. And the GOP simply can't figure this out.