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PUBLIC OPINION > Most People Have Crossed Party Lines to Vote

Politics 2012/10/30 21:00:00
As we've seen in previous recaps, people who call themselves liberals or conservatives are not very likely to vote against their party this year. But Colin Powell, a self-proclaimed moderate Republican who served as Secretary of State under George W. Bush, is backing Democratic candidate Barack Obama once again. We wanted to know how much of the public is willing to cross party lines to vote as well.



More than two-thirds of respondents said they've voted "against" their party at least once. Unfortunately, not many people gave specifics, but the ones that did surprised us. There were Republicans who said they were voting for Obama, and Democrats who said they had voted for Reagan. Some also counted smaller, local offices. It's nice to get a whiff of flexibility in the midst of an election season.

Bound to Cross Lines

Teens aside -- they obviously haven't done much in terms of voting -- the 18-24 group was least likely to have voted against their party. This most likely reflects their limited experience, as they haven't had many opportunities to do so. It could also suggest that younger voters are less likely to align themselves with a party in the first place, but the next section is evidence against that.

Moderates Move Around

Interestingly, moderates were more likely than any other political alignment to claim that they'd crossed lines to vote. This could mean that many of the moderates used to be aligned with a party, or that some actually do align themselves with a party, or it could just be their way of confirming that they don't stick to any one party.

Big Money Thinks Twice

Respondents who make more than $100,000 a year were more likely than any age bracket or employment status to have voted across party lines at some point. Could this mean that adaptability and independent thinking are conducive to success? Conversely, people making less than $25,000 a year were least likely to vote across lines, but they're also most likely to be under legal voting age.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about voting across party lines. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Mary B 2012/10/30 21:57:14
    Mary B
    +13
    This democrat is crossing party lines...I see not one democrat out there this election season worth voting for...they have shown such hatred in the past four years that it is unacceptable....no democrats this year

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  • Mike 2012/12/08 11:38:24
    Mike
    It doesn't really matter -- there's so little \difference between the two.
  • happyman 2012/12/04 05:06:29
    happyman
    At least he has guts to do what he thinks is right.
  • Jaiheena Star 2012/11/24 08:17:35
  • Todd The Libertarian 2012/11/14 16:11:58
  • rbeas 2012/11/12 19:10:36
    rbeas
    Ive done it before and will again
  • joefj2 2012/11/09 04:40:21
    joefj2
    Just another 96%er
  • Robert 2012/11/08 20:53:40
    Robert
    Well, I guess it's all pointless now.
  • mac9 2012/11/05 16:14:33
    mac9
    +1
    I'm shocked. Do the murders in Bengahzi mean nothing to An ex Army General who once had soldiers in his care? Obama failed. I wonder if Obama was able to make an offer Powell could not refuse.....
  • BlackSouth 2012/11/04 23:14:35
    BlackSouth
    +1
    I have had the opportunity to serve under General Powell and I have never met a more honorable man. He served his country more than 25 years in uniform, even more away from the battlefield. Every president that chose him for their cabinet was a Republican. You are calling him a racist, but you fail to realize that he had to stand by and watch America being poured down the drain by the last President. (The one that no one likes to talk about.) In fact he probably was forced to make decisions that started wars on two fronts backing that un talked about President, and yet you still call him racist because he believed that someone else can do it better or still do it better over an unproven candidate who is a serial flip flopper and no foreign policy experience. You may as well say you are not voting for Obama because he is black, and not about his policies and the way he is running the country. Be honest.
  • isamikh... BlackSouth 2012/11/05 04:25:08
    isamikhailstephanalmisry
    +2
    He was Secretary of State, National Security Advisor and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in addition to a leading general in the Middle East, and yet no one thought, during the endorsement, to ask him about Benghazigate, and the General gave as reasons of his support Obama's handling of the economy-i.e. an area that the General has no competence beyond the average layman, who can see if he is thinking that 4 trillion later we have nothing to show for it. As Coulter called it, Powell didn't pick Obama because he's black, he picked him because he is a liberal.
  • BlackSouth isamikh... 2012/11/05 13:45:22
    BlackSouth
    Any person that was in the military that was watching the Benghazi would have known from the start that those outposts were supposed to have been kept in secret. From the very start I knew that when information is sporadic and conflicting from an incident Then that "installation" was supposed to have been a secret. Now as more information has come out that those facilities were ran by the CIA, The general public should know why the information was cloaked. These types of incidents happened no less than 12 times during the last Presidents watch along with 9/11 and where was the uproar then? Hopefully no other agents identities were compromised because of the general public's thirst for transparency. People lives here are at stake especially those that are on the tip of the spear hunting terrorist.Oh and I am sure that the good general knew and did not speak on it for that reason, Civilians. Maybe you should let our military rest and get on the front line.
  • jimmy isamikh... 2012/11/05 13:55:48
    jimmy
    ABSOLUTLEY
  • Grandpa 2012/11/04 12:52:30 (edited)
    Grandpa
    +2
    Colin Powell vote color >>> Once respected that so called man,I now have no time for a FOOL
  • Chantal... Grandpa 2012/11/04 19:01:36
    Chantal Eyong
    Yes because Romney's a clearly better candidate?? If you read the stances between Obama and Romney side by side, they aren't all that different. But there are things that will scare me if they go south, regarding women's issues and education. And Romney's stances on that are abysmal. That being said, I definitely will not vote Romney and it is not a surprise if others do not either. On the same coin, the disappointment felt toward Obama is understandable too. Choosing the lesser of two evils happens so often in politics. Clinton had his share of blunders, but they were somehow overshadowed by his successes and likeability. I dont think it makes sense to criticize why someone is voting for who with the options we have...
  • BlackSouth Grandpa 2012/11/04 23:05:20
    BlackSouth
    You are crazy. He gave the reason why he is endorsing Obama again. When people can't accept other peoples reason and instead listen to others who say he votes on color is a racist and a fool too.
  • Resp 2012/11/03 05:30:19
    Resp
    +4
    Let's be honest. Powell chose Obama because he is black.
  • Dogman Resp 2012/11/03 18:25:04
    Dogman
    Why didn't he back Herman Cain? He was a black guy from his own party.
  • M Dogman 2012/11/03 19:55:13 (edited)
    M
    +1
    He did, then he changed to the other black guy when Herman was pretty much out for sure.
  • Dogman M 2012/11/03 23:08:30
    Dogman
    When did he ever support Cain?
  • Resp Dogman 2012/11/03 21:28:03
  • Dogman Resp 2012/11/03 23:12:56
  • BlackSouth Dogman 2012/11/04 23:07:09 (edited)
    BlackSouth
    Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan wouldn't have stood up and He was inept at anything foreign. He said that.
  • Dogman BlackSouth 2012/11/04 23:50:31
    Dogman
    Herman Cain is a moron. There's a reason why he, Trump, Santorum, Bachmann, Perry, etc., etc., etc., all dropped out. They were unelectable.
  • Resp Dogman 2012/11/05 02:10:34
    Resp
    Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan should be turned upside down to 6-6-6.
  • keepitr... BlackSouth 2012/11/19 20:26:35 (edited)
    keepitreal1218
    Yeah upside down it's the 6-6-6 plan .....
  • peggy Resp 2012/11/03 21:12:19 (edited)
    peggy
    Use to respect him no more he is racist. Turn coat
  • Kimberly Resp 2012/11/04 05:20:08
    Kimberly
    +2
    Well that's just ignorant...and honestly racist
  • BlackSouth Resp 2012/11/04 23:06:06
    BlackSouth
    That isn't being honest.
  • Resp BlackSouth 2012/11/05 02:13:09
    Resp
    Dishonest? Well how about Colin Powell being an "affirmative" appointment?
  • BlackSouth Resp 2012/11/05 02:23:48 (edited)
    BlackSouth
    and, I am very proud of Colin Powell's accomplishments. He wasn't born with a silver spoon. Whatever he got I am sure he earned.
  • JP ISO 2012 2012/11/02 22:40:23
    JP ISO  2012
    +8
    If Powell is a Republican than I am a street light.
  • RG JP ISO ... 2012/11/02 23:44:16
    RG
    +2
    Make that two!
  • Dogman JP ISO ... 2012/11/03 18:26:09
    Dogman
    +1
    He served as George Bush's Secretary of State. Do you think Bush and Cheney wanted a Lefty for that post?
  • M Dogman 2012/11/03 19:54:50 (edited)
    M
    I heard the guy speak, hes a moderate- exactly what you want in a SoS role. The guy does not serve a political agenda. He won't deny voting for Obama simply because hes black either.
  • Dogman M 2012/11/03 23:14:40
    Dogman
    When has he said that he's voting for Obama for no other reason other than his race?
  • Steve ☮... Dogman 2012/11/04 04:51:03
    Steve ☮ R ☮ P ☮ 2012 ☮
    He certainly isn't voting for him because of his accomplishments. I heard a clip of an interview on the radio today where Powell credited Obama with ending the Iraq war. If there was ever someone who would know that Obama had NOTHING to do with pulling the troops out of Iraq, it's Powell. An agreement was in place that was reluctantly agreed to by the BUSH administration that demanded US troops be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2011. Obama had NOTHING to do with this, and he actually tried to keep them there longer.

    Colin Powell is no more honorable than most other scumbag politicians. If he was, he would have admitted that this point was completely fallacious, and had nothing to do with his decision to endorse Obama.
  • Dogman Steve ☮... 2012/11/04 08:57:56
    Dogman
    The war in Iraq was immoral from the get go. Bush lied the nation into that war, while Obama objected to it. What evidence do you have that Obama tried to keep troops in Iraq?
  • Steve ☮... Dogman 2012/11/04 19:49:21
    Steve ☮ R ☮ P ☮ 2012 ☮
    The evidence is part of the public record. Obama did not want to end the Iraq war. We were thrown out of Iraq as was demanded by the Status Of Forces agreement Bush signed before he left office. He didn't want to sign it either, as he would have been more than happy to see Iraq go a hundred years as McCain had said.
  • Dogman Steve ☮... 2012/11/04 21:01:32
    Dogman
    Please cite your evidence.
  • Steve ☮... Dogman 2012/11/04 23:16:51
    Steve ☮ R ☮ P ☮ 2012 ☮
    I will try to get a link, but for some reason my computer won't let me run Google anymore. It's the only cite I can't access and I have no idea why. I will have to talk to the IT guy at my office. Once it's running again I will try to remember to come back here and post it.

    In the meantime, you're welcome to try yourself. Google "Obama Status of Forces Agreement" and see what pops up.
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