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Survey Brief: Political Independents and Health Care

With the 2008 presidential race well underway, some analysts believe that political independents will play a key role in the final vote. In July 2007, The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University released a Survey of Political Independents exploring the views and priorities of these voters on a variety of issues. This Survey Brief takes an in-depth look at independents’ views on health care, including the saliency of the issue, which party best represents their own views, whether candidates should focus on lowering costs or expanding coverage, and willingness to pay to cover the uninsured.

Looking at self-identified independents as a whole, health care is a moderately salient issue, ranking third among most important problems for the government to address (well behind Iraq and just behind immigration, an issue that was receiving intense news coverage at the time of the poll), and second among issues that are extremely important to independents personally (behind Iraq). Yet because independents are not a uniform group, the brief also looks at how five different subgroups of independents think about health care.

The Survey of Political Independents, the 16th in this partnership series, was conducted by telephone from May 3 to June 3, 2007 among 2,140 randomly selected adults nationwide, including 1,014 self-identified independents.

icon_reports_studies.gif Survey Brief (.pdf)

 The Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University Survey of Political Independents