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June 17th, 2008
03:21 PM ET

Winning over independents

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Independent voters are crucial in presidential elections. You can bet John McCain and Barack Obama will do everything in their power to get their support.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that McCain and Obama are even among independents – which suggests a shift towards McCain in the past month.

When it comes to the issues, independents see McCain as more credible on fighting terrorism and they're split evenly on who is the stronger leader and who is better on the war in Iraq. However, 62% of independents polled say the Iraq war is "not worth fighting."

Obama has a double-digit advantage among independents on many domestic issues including: the economy – which is the nation's No. 1 issue, gas prices, health care, global warming, and women's issues.

In recent elections, Democratic and Republican voters have overwhelmingly supported their party's candidate. But this time around those identifying themselves as Democrats far outnumber Republicans, which could spell trouble for McCain. It means he will have to attract a larger percentage of independent votes in order to win.

A couple of other factors working against McCain in this poll: people are more unhappy than ever with the direction this country is going. 84% say we're seriously on the wrong track. Also, when asked which party they favor for Congress in the fall, 52% say Democrat, only 37% say Republican.

Here’s my question to you: What will John McCain and Barack Obama have to do to win over independents?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Kay from West Virginia writes:
Independents will favor the candidate who speaks truth and talks about the hard choices and pain that we will have to go through in order to get the country heading in the right direction. The more either candidate speaks of 'quick fixes' or 'bread and circuses', the more independents will pull away from them.

JT writes:
McCain's best chance of getting support from independents is to be an independent. He used to be a maverick, an independent thinker, but then he started going after the far right and following party line. For Obama, it will be easier.

Elaine writes:
I am an independent and I'm voting for John McCain. Obama's inexperience, associates of the past 20 years and his extremely liberal views frighten me.

Ellena writes:
I am an independent and the main issues to me are: securing our border (I live in Arizona), fixing the economy, improving our image in other parts of the world and fixing health care.

Nancy from Grand Ledge, Michigan writes:
Obama has to sit back and let McCain keep talking. People will soon realize how out of touch McCain is and how mixed up he gets the facts. He will show himself to be Bush all over again! Obama will win by a landslide.

Tiffany writes:
If Barack Obama is going to win over independents, he will have to be able to address people's concerns with his lack of experience by presenting a workable and detailed plan regarding Iraq and helping the economy with widespread bipartisan support. His choice of a foreign policy strong V.P. will also be critical.

Kurtis from Udall, Kansas writes:
It's simple really, Jack. They'll both have to demonstrate that they love their country more than their political party. So far, I'm not sure either one has done that.


Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Carol c.

    As Jack Webb said "Just the facts, maam". We don't need a lot of spin on what is wrong–we already know that.

    They have to show what they can do for independents as well as their own party. I used to think of myself as independent until republicans made me re-think who cares for the average person and it sure isn't them!

    Carol
    TN

    June 17, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  2. JT

    McCain's best chance of getting support from independents is to be an independent. He used to be a maverick, an independent thinker, but then he started going after the far right and following party line. For Obama it will be easier. He needs to be expressive of his concern for the independent's interests. He needs to talk to them, to meet with them, to communicate on their level about their concerns. He needs to let them know that they have a friend.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  3. Raj, Toronto

    If independents are like the rest of the nation, they will vote for Obama

    June 17, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  4. Marie Canada

    Well Jack I think you might have the question a little backwards as a more fitting question might be what will the independents have to do to decide who they are going to vote for in November.

    By this I mean the issues and each candidate's policies are quite clear with very distinct differences so what Independents need to do is make an effort to become familiar with each candidate's position and support the person who would best improve their lives and their country's position in the world.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  5. Darlene - Philadelphia

    john mcwar I believe has no shot, every day he comes out with more and more nonsense. I don't even thinks he knows what he wants. Barack just has to continue on point and keep making sound judgements and he will be a shoo in. Aren't the Independents the ones who helpded Obama win?

    June 17, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  6. JC

    For this registered independent, all Obama has to do to get my support is stay alive and be on the ballot in November.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  7. Marcus Johnson

    I think that they should speak more of the issues and problems that matter in this election and find strong solutions for them. If you think McCain will change these problems around then you would need a thorough head examination. That's a definite fact!

    June 17, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  8. Kay in WV

    Independents will favor the candidate who speaks truth and talks about the hard choices and pain that we will have to go through in order to get the country heading in the right direction. The more either candidate speaks of 'quick fixes' or 'bread & circuses', the more independents will pull away from them.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  9. Tina (Texas)

    They will continue doing what they are known for. McCain trying to make Obama not black enough and Obama still trying to say the War was not worth it. What happened to running a clean campaign? That must have happened while I was sleeping.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  10. Judie

    Jack,
    John McCain will have to be able give a speech that keeps people awake so that they can hear what he is saying and stop repeating himself at the end of almost every sentence. I have never in my 63 years seen such an unenthusiastic group of people as those that attend McCain events. Obama on the other hand has won over this Independent and many others will join him. It has been a long time since anyone has generated this kind of energy. The last time being my home state Senator JFK. And by the way I have yet to see anyone sleeping at an Obama event have you?.

    Judie
    St. Augustine, Fl

    June 17, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  11. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, they need to tell it like it is, and have concrete solutions to real problems. Meaningless phrases like hope and change won't cut it.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  12. Ryan, Va

    Obama doesn't have to do much to get independent voters, he just needs to sit back and let McCain continue to give speeches and town halls. The more McCain continues to talk the better for Obama. (Am I the only one that thinks McCain has worse interpersonal skills than Bush?) They should just keep replaying McCain's speech in New Orleans from two weeks ago; it definitely solidified my vote for Obama.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  13. Stacy from Loudoun County Virginia

    Jack, put Lou Dobbs on the ticket as VP and promise you a job as ambassador to Lichtenstein.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  14. mk

    I think the Independents are leaning more towards the goals of the Democrats in this election. We are all hurting from an oppresively recessed economy and are ready to fight anyone that would prolong the war. There is unity in adversity. Obama will have to continue with his speeches and interview that help to open him up a little more. He needs to show us that he'll be a man of action. McCain has an uphill battle to overcome because he is representing everything that got us here to begin with. The best he could do is expose his strategies for change, and focus on their difference from those of the Bush Administration.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  15. Gigi in Alabama

    If they would be truthful and offer good solutions to the many problems that this country is facing . . .that would go a long way in convincing Independents. Hopefully the Democrats can come up with those solutions. I cannot see John McCain doing it.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  16. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    I think John McCain has to worry about winning over the independents, Barack Obama has already won a large portion of them. Look at the polls Obama is already ahead, he is gaining support from all the undecided. Let John McCain flip flop his way to losing this election.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  17. robert-New Jersey

    Mc Cain puts me in the mind of the player on any team playing any sport.As long as you are by yourself ,you hit the jumper ,the puck goes in the net,the ball is hit over the fence etc.Then the oppositoin shows up for the real game,Meaning Barack.

    Game Over!!

    June 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  18. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    The Obama campaign needs to do campaign ads of Michael Ware's reports from Baghdad. The ones saying that the reduction in violence had less to do with the surge and more to do with Millions of Sunnis having fled to Jordan and Syria as refugees rather than be slaughtered.

    For Senator McCain to win Independents, he needs to release his medical records to people qualified to understand them and without the 3 hour rime limit. Peek a boo press release.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  19. Bill in New London, CT

    Obama - 1) No Hillary VP 2) Sure up his image on foreign policy
    McCain - 1) Stop kissing up to conservatives 2) Stop kissing up to Hillary supporters 3) Stop kissing up to Bush's supporters 4) Well, BE JOHN MCCAIN, not the kiss up panderer he has become

    June 17, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  20. Rob, Arvada, CO

    There's nothing John McCain can do, he's gone too far over to the dark-side. As Alec Guiness said "He's more machine now, than man." Once upon a time, there were thousands of indies and dems that admired him. No longer. Obama just needs to keep running his brilliant campaign like he's been doing and not pull any punches. He's got a lock on the Indy side.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  21. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    If Bush invades Iran, not only Independents but Democrats will vote for McCain. Why? Sen. Obama is still percieved as the "rooki" when it comes to defense and foreign relations. Obama is hopeful but not realistic.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  22. Tom - Virginia

    Jack –

    Which John McCain are we talking about. The one from 2000 or the one that has embraced Bush' failed economic policies, supports privitization of social security, supports the war in Iraq for a 100 years, wants to invade Iran (just becasue it would be funny to "bomb bomb Iran") etc. He's got me so confused becasue he has taken every side of an issue in the last 4 years, some more than once. He needs to settle on a policy and get back to us.

    Lets change his name from McBush to Senator McFlipFlopper.

    Independents will flock to Obama once McFlipFlopper is exposed.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  23. Rosalynd Florida

    McCain has no Chance with this registered Independent voter. McCain is on the worng side of too many issues: Iraq War, the economy, Gas tax gimmick, Offshore drilling, Detainees rights, and on and on.

    Obama 08!

    June 17, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  24. Jim Cape Coral, FL

    Jack,
    I registered as an Independant voter in Florida last year and I am an avid Obama supporter. I don't agree with all of his ideas but I would much rather give a first term senator, with no ties to lobbiest groups and special intrests, a chance to try an entirely different approach then risk 4 more years of the same tired, old policies. To win over this Independant voter all the candidates need is less experience in the culture of corruption that is Washington.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  25. Peter, Kentucky

    I have come to realize majority of the so called self proclaimed independents are actually republicans who are ashamed of their party. But you know elections are secret ballot. They vote republican, of course.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  26. don in naples, florida

    Be conservative. Promote a stronger economic policy. State a clear objective, timetable for exiting iraq. Let the people know clearly what is going to be done about IRAN. Be more diplomatic than Dictator Bush. Communicate with countries.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  27. Jed in Redding, CA

    The problem with you're question is that Independents cannot be thought of as a cohesive group with similar views like Democrats or Republicans.

    Some indepenents like how conservatives view abortion and gay marriage, but hate their position on the war. Some like how liberals view healthcare but not immigration or gun rights. Every individual is different.

    The best thing either candidate can do for independents is to be honest and steadfast in their views on the world whenthey're the president. Independets will decide on the issue(s) they feel are the most important.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  28. Joe in DE

    Proppse policies near to the center of the spectrum. Show some original thinking.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  29. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Obama and McCain have to tell their surrogates to shut-up and stop all the lies and innuendo. Independents will go for the man that tells the unvarnished truth. I know,I am one of them.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  30. sandi-arizona

    As an independent, this will ba a no brainer. You vote your pocketbook. That is what happened to Jimmy Carter in '80. The Hostages in Iran isn't what cost him the election, the economy was what people said when they were polled. They were tired of gas lines and high prices at the grocery store. Sound familiar?

    June 17, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  31. Frank from Peterborough

    McCain's best bet is to stop making public appearances so people won't see how old and tired he looks. It would also help if he stayed on track on each issue as his constantly changing his positions just leads people to believe he is confused.

    Obama just has to keep his rally going and if the younger set shows up to vote then the Republicans will surely hear the fat lady singing.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  32. mitch martin arkansaw

    independents will come around ,when attacks on our troops begin to increase in iraq,because they dont want us there,anymore.i look for the sadrists to increase attacks on 'the occupiers',before the election in nov.,to ensure mccain's strategy to remain there forever,be doomed to failure.this election will be a landslide ,for obama,because john mccain is the only person besides bush and friends ,who wants to stay in iraq.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  33. Nervous Nelly Dallas Texas

    Just tell them the truth and stop trying to baffle them with BS. Dazzle them with their brilliance instead with a REAL plan for change instead of some campaign slogan. I change my underwear each and every day. Now that is a change but it no more qualifies me for president then Obama. Both need to start laying out a REAL plan instead of empty promises. America is tired of following someone with no direction. Either lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  34. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    Obama has to be himself

    McCain has to not be Bush

    June 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  35. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Obama needs to stay the course with his current campaign strategy. He fairs well with independents, better than McCain. McCain will have to convinence the independents that he is the better candidate, however, McCain is still preceived as just another tranish of the Bush Administration....and I seriously don't know how McCain is going to resolve that issue with a Bush pre-disposition.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  36. Chris - Frederick, MD

    Thats easy.....Just give into the smear campaigns that the republican party is good at and attack -attack- attack- Obama! My fault he started that months ago. It's only begun folks! McCain will try infecting any independent voter with Baracknaphobia. Ya know Jack any other time i would of ended that sentence with "and it will probably work too well" but not this time I'm ready to be surprised by the American people!

    June 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  37. Jerry

    McCain would have to get onboard with Obama and give up his ideas that are seventy years old. He need to get in touch with the american public. Obama is on the correct course.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  38. Rod from Chicago

    John McCain graduated the 894TH person out of 899 students, fifth from the bottom at the U.S. Naval Academy and when he gives a campaign speech it becomes obvious that he isn’t the sharpest candidate. So there is no reason why a person with an independent mind should want to vote for someone with that type of mentality. It is time to turn the page and start choosing the brightest candidate available.

    June 17, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  39. George

    Is there such a thing as a write in vote? I bet that most Independents hope there is. It will be a mxed bag, but don't think most Independents like either candidate.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  40. Paul, Columbia, SC

    Work for one dollar a year with no benefits in the first term. Full pay and benefits if elected to a second term. By the way, that goes for Congress too. The gravy train is over.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  41. Jonathan Rix, Valparaiso Indiana

    Jack,
    I think that both of them need to listen to the Independent’s and attempt to apply some of the strong points and make a slight change to the platform. Both of them need a base that appeals to the largest amount of people possible.

    Rule of thumb: You cannot make everyone happy but you should appeal to those who are undecided.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  42. Sam, North Carolina

    For one, they both need to focus on the issues, and not on poo-pooing each other. I'm sorry, but that does nothing to convince me to vote one way or another because I just dismiss it as nonsense.

    How about if they spell out their individual platforms and tell us whey THEY are going to do to help this country. Spell it out in realistic terms. It can't be done vaguely, nor can it be in political-speak. Tell it to me in plain English (we still speak that in this country, don't we?) What are you going to do...how is that going to help...how are you going to pay for it.

    The candidate that does that will demonstrate leadership and that they really care what happens to the people in this country.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  43. mark, Temple TX

    He has to hold a number of town hall meetings without McCain and expain and discuss his positions, contrast them with McBush and get specific how they answer the audience concerns. He has to disspell the inaccuracies being put out by the opposition. He's a very honest and convincing guy when he gets an audience that really listens to what he says.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  44. *CW*

    For Obama... the same thing he has been doing all along... (keeping our country and OUR people as first priorirty....

    For McCain.... He will need to do the opposite of everything he has done yet so far.... starting by pulling his head from his......

    June 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  45. Eugene in California

    Jack, Independents want to hear specifics, on what actions the candidates take, to confront myriad, of serious issues facing our nation. So far all we've heard is party rhetoric and reforms, with broad brush strokes. Some old same old Jack. I'm supporting Lou Dobbs.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  46. Paulette Dallas,PA

    Obama already has McCain beat unless, of course he makes some major decision blunders like slapping his own party in the face. If he turns his back on them now, they will turn their backs on him in November.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  47. Dick B

    Independents tend to vote for the person with the best smile. So I think Obama and McCain should visit their dentist and get their teeth whitened. As things currently stand I believe Obama has an edge in the tooth race.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  48. Debbie,NJ

    Jack I'm an independent. And like many independents we do not want a Bush 3rd term. If McCain is not like Bush he has not convinced me that he is any better. When he did vote, which was rarely, 95% of the time he sided with Bush. He is pro Iraq and he doesn't have the people of the US in his heart like Obama does. So my choice is Obama.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  49. mark, Temple TX

    I think he should make a surprise visit to Iraq to visit the troops without all the fanfare of McCain. He should invite McCain to a trip to the mid East to visit the neighborhood and solicit help in Iraq including the Syria..

    June 17, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  50. Jay Longley

    True Independents, like me, will not be won over by either major political party's presidential nominee. I will cast a protest vote for Ralph Nader. The Washington Post -ABC News poll was actually a poll of "Flip-Floppers" – not Independents. That is, most of these voters flip from one of the two major parties every election and flop their vote down for the one who they feel will win without giving any serious study to their stands on the important issues.
    Jay Longley
    Brownwood, Texas

    June 17, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  51. Chris - Ottawa, Canada

    Pick a good VP. Chuck Hagel, Ron Paul, Lou Dobbs or even Jesse Ventura. Always remember that America is more important than a political party.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  52. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Jack – It is simple.
    Obama – Prove he can attack the debt, set an Iraq withdrawal timeframe and revamp a health plan that would include all your citizens!! Bring most of the land troops around the world home.
    McCain – Drop the Republican election platform in the nearest garbage can!! Prove he can attack the debt. Apologize for the Iraq 'one hundred year' comment and set a timetable for getting out of Iraq. Provide a health plan initiative for all the citizens. Bring most of the land troops around the world.home.

    The troops can be used on the Mexican border!!

    June 17, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  53. sandy in Ohio

    Well McCain is doing his fair share of flip flopping to get votes from many different groups. Obama just needs to keep talking about the economy and the hugh debt we are racking up for future generations and the high cost of the war. People just need to make a change and focus on the future and not look back at the past.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  54. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,
    To win the independent voters and the Presidency Sen Obama has to keep the dream ticket of himself and Sen Clition, probably his worst nightmare, alive. It's time for him to realize the fact she achieved more of the popular vote then he did during the primaries...

    C.I., New York

    June 17, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  55. Harold from Anchorage

    As Independents, we want Barack. he seems less tied to party dogma than McCain does, or Hillary did. He's an Independent Democrat.
    We feel the same about our country now as Michelle does.
    And we're neither black nor young.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  56. 40+ In Suitland, MD

    All Obama has to do is keep doing what he's doing. All John McCain has to do is stop hating on Barack and reading teleprompters.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  57. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    The problem is not whether you're liberal or conservative. The problem is whether you're for the Iraq war or not.

    The question should be: How many independents are for the war, and how many are against it?

    June 17, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  58. Janice Pound

    Obama does'nt have to do anything different. Be specific about policies he wants to try to introduce and keep up including the public in them It's good to hear some one who states he wants you (and we) to work together for change.Of course, a Pres. cannot succeed if he does'nt have a congress who represents the people. Jqan Pound Cortez Co.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  59. Robert W. Brooks

    Jack,

    Independents want a candidate who is truly committed to what is in the best interest of the American people. Candidates who are consumed by either their own agenda or their parties agenda without addressing the issues that are currently affecting the voters such as the high cost of gas and food, budget deficits and inflation will be left behind. Change, that will benefit the average American, will be the key factor that will drawn independents to a specifc candidate.

    Robert
    Forest, VA

    June 17, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  60. Doug, AZ

    If all independent voters are like Lou Dobbs, there’s basically nothing more that Obama or McCain could do. Lou Dobbs would complain if you hung him with a new rope.

    June 17, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  61. Marianne - Alamo,California

    It is appalling that anyone leands towards McCain for “fighting terrorism” when he stands before crowds singing"bom-iran", bom-iran". I've heard this sentiment from the far right for several years. It is their only answer to
    fighting terrorism. Hey, there are other answers like people showing those poor misguided radical Muslims t hat life on earth is more fun than dying and that there things right here to live for. The involves people-to-people experiences, educational pursuits and lots of sacrifice, guts and tenacity. Those willing to serve in this capacit y are the REAL warriors in our society!

    June 17, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  62. Scott - Mountain View, CA.

    Jack, it's far too early in the race to be able to determine which candidate will win over the most independents, however John McCain is going to have a tough go of it. Obama has a very appealing platform of "Hope and Change" which already has record numbers of voters from all parties out in huge numbers. All he needs to do is stay on message and voters from both sides of the aisle will come out for him. John McCain on the other hand, brings nothing new to the table, so he's going to need to sway independents using the "Experience" platform which Hillary tried to use. I don't believe its going to work for him just as it didn't for HRC.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  63. L.M.,Arizona

    Obama has to say he will bring the troops home.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  64. Scott - Dallas, TX

    I count myself as an independent, and my answer is simple.

    End the hypocrisy that confronts the American people everywhere that they turn. No more BS, on any issue. We need solutions, not more PC fairytales. It's time for the hard truth.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  65. Antonia in Bristol Virginia

    What Obama needs to do is personify McCain as Bush III.

    Borrowing from Carville's, "It's the economy stupid" mantra from 1992.

    In 2008:

    It's fuel prices, stupid.

    It's the war!

    It's healthcare!

    It's four more years of Bush, and that's really stupid.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  66. Helena

    Clearwater, FL

    Jack,
    They have to be honest about their policies and intentions. Flip flopping will never do.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  67. Barb-ID

    How is he going to pay off the deficit. All I hear is Spend ,Spend ,Spend, Put this nation back on its feet and bring the jobs back. We can't pay taxes if we don't have homes and jobs!

    June 17, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  68. Terry, Reg. Independent in Fayetteville, NC

    If they are smart they will know that voters are independent because they are sick and tired of politicians trying to "win them over" which is usually a nice term for pandering. The candidates might communicate their ideas better but it is way to late to play switcheroo on eagle-eyed independents.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  69. MIke

    with these preliminary polls you are showing Jack..this is just the beginning of the massive Barack wave that will Scoot McCain to the side coming November. Independents need a change..they will for sure go for Obama.

    Naples,
    Florida

    June 17, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  70. Allen from Hartwell Georgia

    Jack, I can't imagine anything McCain could do to win anyone but a died-in-the-wool, hard core Neo-con Republican. Anyone else with access to news should be scared to death of the thought of McCain as president. Obama on the other hand shouldn't have to do much more than he has already to win independents and Republicans fed up with 15 years of party bitterness, and 7.5 years of the Bush/Cheney dictatorship.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  71. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    They just need to release all the years of working across the aisle with everyone from both parties. Oh wait, Obama hasn't been in the Senate long enough to do that... Oops...

    June 17, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  72. Chris from Long Island, NY

    Hey Jack, The answer is plain and simple. Start taking a serious look at putting some independent candidates on their team or in their cabinet. More of a populist message would be a good thing as well. This country is in the hands of a bunch of bafoons and we put them there! I can only hope that this election will change the way our government represents us. The independent movement is growing and getting stronger everyday in this country. The american people are getting smarter, wiser and fed up with high paid ceo's outsourcing of our jobs and the destruction of the american dream. All in the name of globalization. Why aren't other countries hurting the way we are from this market. It seems that we have more greedy people in this country that anywhere else in the world. And guess what, their running our country!!!! If the two parties don't get it right this time you will see the end of the two party system in this country. The independent will ultimately take control.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  73. Daniel makin

    to win me over jack each would have to write me a ten thousand dollor check.... even then i would promise to vote for them and still vote third party.,.. i would laugh cause they would know what it felt like to be lied too...

    June 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  74. Greg, Los Angeles,Ca

    I am a total independant thanks to Lou Dobbs. Listen Barrack has to unify this party with Hillary Clinton as his running mate. But, don't forget Jack there Democrats they will choose someone that did not even run or get one vote this year. I expect Obama to fall in line and blow this dream ticket he is a democrat but listen I am a middle class independant who voted for Hillary and will vote for Obama only if he chooses her. I will stay home if he goes with some joe nobody.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  75. Donna in ID

    Someone has to show us a plan that we can take our country back and be self sufficient and respected around the world. Get business that have shut down and never returned or went off shore. We have lost Mining and Timber and Oil, Steel mills and even concrete. and Manufacturing of our daily items. Looks like all these politicians want is to have most everyone work in the service industries with no future. I for one have seen nothing in either candidate that I would take to the bank or cast a vote for.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  76. Mwita (Los Angeles, CA)

    It's allot easier for Obama. He doesn't have any previous administrations core supporters to court. The only recent successful candidate was Bill Clinton, and Obama just sent him back to private life. So in many ways the Democrats are asking voters to vote "Not Republican" in November. That message appeals simultaneously to Democrats, Independents, and some disenfranchised Republicans. McCain on the other hand needs the Bush administration's support with conservative-evangelicals, and fund-raising. Using the support of an unpopular president Bush is like tap dancing in a mine field, one toe out of line and your independent message is filled with holes.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  77. Scott

    it's far too early in the race to be able to determine which candidate will win over the most independents, however John McCain is going to have a tough go of it. Obama has a very appealing platform of "Hope and Change" which already has record numbers of voters from all of the parties out in huge numbers. All he needs to do is stay on message and voters from both sides of the aisle will come out for him. John McCain on the other hand, brings nothing new to the table, so he's going to need to sway independents using the "Experience" platform which Hillary tried to use. I don't believe its going to work for him just as it didn't for her.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  78. Kay, Philadelphia

    Well, now that we know Bush isn't a compassionate conservative (whatever that means), it should be easy to have independents crossover to the democratic side by simply doing what is right by the middle class and the war.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  79. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    Obama has to sit back and let McCain keep talking. People will soon realize how out of touch McCain is and how mixed up he gets the facts. He will show himself to be Bush all over again! Obama will win by a landslide!!

    June 17, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  80. Janet, America via Toronto

    A true independent just has to look at the economy on all fronts.

    If those independents voters, are solid in their own financial situation, then they don't care about who is the next president!

    Independents, some of them, will whine all the time, without making a real solid judgement call.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  81. Kristyne McDaniel

    I think one of the best ways to win over independents would be to put a woman on the ticket. I'd like to see Hillary Clinton or one of the Democratic woman governors in the VP spot, and I know I'm not alone. Lets make history with more than the top spot. Let's make history all the way around.

    In fact, I'd love to see McCain pick a woman for his VP as well. It is about time that it is seen as NORMAL to have a woman on the ticket. We are, after all, over 50% of the voting population.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  82. Bill from Alabama

    The question is really : "What will Independents have to do to win,period? The answer is talk Hillary Clinton in to running on the Independent ticket. She is "Our " candidate.....Independents, that is! Otherwise,Independents have no other choice but to vote McCain,if they really want to change the DNC and it's disenfranchising rules! The DNC must be stopped,at all cost,from disenfranchising voters,or we'll have this problem around for a long time to come. We have to make it clear,we will not be trifled with! Our right to be counted and to have an equal say,is paramount in this election,moreso than any other issue in this campaign.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  83. Dave of Oregon

    As an independent, I am looking for the basic nuts-and-bolts capabilities of these candidates, and McCain simply doesn't have it. Obama is futuristic, while McCain is past. McCain's energy concerns places the Big Oil right where it is today and that is NOT good. Drilling is not the answer by itself and McCain is too backwards to fit in a future energy plan. Obama will put this country back on track. McCain is simply an extension of Bush and that is disastrous. If not for Big Oil's being in the White House right now, we would as a country have answered the problems of energy but Big Oil's influence is right there at the top which is why nothing will be done about these high prices until another non-Big Oil advocate can turn things around. And that is Obama. I am sorry but Big Oil's influence goes out the door the moment Obama comes in!

    June 17, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  84. Jerry -Roselle, Illinois

    The 2004 Election results:

    Bush 62,040,610 50.7 % Republicans

    Kerry 59,028,439 48.2 % Democrates

    Nader 463,655 .03 % Independents

    So much for the Independent vote!

    June 17, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  85. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Obama will have to keep emphasizing his positions on the issues while McCain will have to keep trying to hide HIS present positions from these voters who think he's still the "maverick" he was in 2000.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  86. Shafi Alam

    Independents are presumably among that 84% of American people who believe that the country is in the wrong direction. 15% more independents prefer democrats to run the congress. By inspiring for change, Barack Obama has crossed hurdles to win the Democratic Party nomination. He just has to continue to impress the people with the same slogans. He is expected to win with land slide victory. He can start organizing to select the top people in his administration. In this process he can ask the prospective people to tell him their ideas about how they will run their departments in solving the main problems of the country. He can select some of those ideas to talk about the solutions to convince the American people in general and more independents in particular.

    Shafi Alam
    Austin, Texas
    Now Tokyo, Japan

    June 17, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  87. Tina KS

    I think McCain needs to be more careful, because the moderate conservatives are going to be tempted to vote for Bob Barr. McCain's in a bind, because he wants to act Pro-Life, but the Libertarian-leaning independents don't want the government in people's personal affairs. McCain's pledge to appoint more Scalias or Alitos will send some independents to Bob Barr. I worry that Barr will be this year's Nader.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  88. nancy warden - manteo nc

    any independent who votes for mccain isn't worth talking about. if they are so stupid to continue with bush policies and elect mccain then the country will continue its slide to oblivion.
    anyone one with a brain knows mccain is trouble with a great big Bush.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  89. Nuwan Sam

    I think McCain has done what is necessary already. That is thinking independantly from ultra conservative party policies. Given the direction this country is going and the economy, it will be very difficult to him whatever he does. In that regard, Obama is having a free ride. Bush's shadow is going to haunt McCain no matter what he does and Obama will benifit from that. The problems we currently face is for the whole America including independants.

    – Nuwan from Houston, TX

    June 17, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  90. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    If our country is to have a prayer of eliminating deficit growing regimes–I hope any registered independants–vote the Libertarian ticket in 2008. Otherwise the government will continue to spend money faster than the rest of us can create it!!

    Same old blank checks–just two different value systems–both bent on solving the worlds ills with an ever oppressive and expensive central government.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  91. Ingrid, new york

    be real, tell it like it is, etc. Obama should stand strong on his ideas and point out how McCain flip flops and therefore not a real independent after all, he is going with the republican machine– first tax cuts yes, now tax cuts no; wind fall taxes for oil companies maybe-now, wind fall taxes no... and so on.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  92. Jerry,OK

    They should debate as often as possible, and debate the issues, not wedge issues, but issues important to the voters. Stop obfuscation, and spinning. Quit packaging themselves as something they are not, and give a direct answer to questions asked, rather than slogans and sound bites.

    Of course candidates aren't going to sacrifice their ambitions for the truth, "but one can hope!"

    Jerry N/Tulsa

    June 17, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  93. Dan, Salt Lake City

    Lie. It's a natural part of politics.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  94. Chase H.

    It doesn't really matter, Jack. If Obama can rally the entire Democratic party (including the die-hard Hillary supporters), he'll have more than enough votes to crush McCain in the election. Senator McCain, on the other hand, MUST seize the independents by painting Obama as an ultra-liberal, or he'll face a humilitating land slide in November.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  95. Dennis from Phoenix, Arizona

    They both need to abandon their allegience to their current political parties and take a blood oath of faithfullness to the US Constitution.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  96. Ted Beaverton, OR

    I am a registered independent. My differences are as much in contrast as my next door neighbor who is also a registered independent. We are not a group of voters who follow the norm. If we are appealed to with the usual political tripe, I guarantee you will lose our vote. Putting people in compartments and labeling them is one of the dumbest things political analyists do. Only party members vote because of their label. Everything else is a crapshoot. People are labeled after they vote by exit pollers who then try to make voting specifics out of fleeting useless information. It's also extremely divisive to voters.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  97. Don - Las Vegas

    What makes Barack more of a contender for doing better with the economy than McCain? Isn't he a Senator now? What has EITHER of them done to fix these as Senators? What would make us think the President name tag would be any different result than the Senatorial result?

    June 17, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  98. Patrick from Jacksonville FL

    Pick Hillary Clinton as their running mate.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  99. Tom in Pensacola

    I don't see much difference between Republicans and Democrats these days so I am voting my pocketbook. McCain will get my vote partly due to the disrespect the Obama people are showing Hilliary.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  100. Bill

    Each candidate will have to show there loyalty to the people not the party to attract independant voters.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  101. southern

    They can't do stupid things.
    Like Obama coming out against school vouchers. That kills the ability of the inner city parents to get their kids in a good school by holding down a couple of jobs......

    Of course the Obama kids are in a private school.

    That's stupid.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  102. Eugene

    Jack, they will both have to quit politics and let Lou run for President unopposed.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  103. Lynn

    Jack I changed from a 40 year Democrat to an Independent this year. I guess that answers your question.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  104. Mike

    Hey Kristyne,

    Do you have kids? A vote for McCain will be sending them on a vacation to sunny and friendly IRAN.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  105. Brody

    How about Colin Powell for VP. He has more experience than many of the people you talk about. The only political spots he has not held are VP and President. A great American who can help with the experience part of the Change message

    June 17, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  106. Peter

    Once indepedents realise who McCain is, they will flood towards Obama. Everybody is in the beach in Jamaica and so nobody has taken time to understand who McCain is. Ask those indepedents again in September.

    Peter, Minnesota

    June 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  107. Allen - New Mexico

    McCain won't win independents, period. People have changed to independents because they are sick and tired of our government as it is... and McCain clearly represents more of the same. You can count the majority of independents in Obama's camp because he unquestionably represents change.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  108. Al Nagengast

    Bow out!
    Then Independants would REALLY like them.
    Ron Paul for president because we want an AMERICAN president just for a welcome and NEEDED "change"!

    June 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  109. Angela Yargus

    All the Republicans have to do is TELL THE TRUTH.

    THEN, THE DEMOCRATS WILL WIN IN A LANDSLIDE!

    June 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  110. Ray Lauzzana

    Its not what they do that can gain them independent voters; its what they don't do.

    They need stop with the BS. Independent voters want honesty more than anything. We've had eight years of lying, and we are fed up with it.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  111. Troy

    Jurassic John will not win independents because he is not change that we can believe in, Obama 08

    June 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  112. David Brumley

    As a long-time Republican voter, I would like to see Obama show more understanding that a favorable climate for business creates jobs and builds prosperity. I would like to see Obama address the issues of energy head on instead of repeating tired and useless mantras about biofuels and solar or wind power.

    I greatly prefer the McCain platform when it comes to social issues and economics, however I cannot support the war in Iraq or his belligerant attitude toward places like Iran and Cuba. McCain can only get my vote by showing me that he understands that diplomacy, not war, is the American way.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  113. bill rembold Louisville

    Lets do it the only way tell the truth!!!!

    June 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  114. Elaine

    I am an independent and I'm voting for John McCain. Obama's inexperience, associates of the past 20 years and his extremely liberal views frighten me.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  115. Jimmy

    I think McCain will probably win independents because of experience when it comes right down to it. I think that debate dialog will give both candidates no choice but to create change.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  116. Kevin in Springfield

    What wins over independent voters is good old common sense. That is why they are independent in the first place. One of these candidates needs to come out with an independent common sense idea. Let's start with these gas prices. Neither one is saying the obvious, which would be putting EVERY energy option (including drilling) on the table and let's do it quick. Common sense Americans know that's what is necessary to solve this awful problem. Obama is siding with the Dems and McCain with the Republicans.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  117. dennis north carolina

    Tell the truth and walk the walk.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  118. Judit

    Obama has to emphasize equality and fairness in his approach to the social issues including taxes, health care, education, equal rights, etc. McCain has to pretend he wants the same for the country.

    Judit
    Venice, FL

    June 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  119. Tiffany

    If Barack Obama is going to win over independents, he will have to be able to address people's concerns with his lack of experience by presenting a workable and detailed plan regarding Iraq and helping the economy with widespread bipartisan support. His choice of a foreign policy strong VP will also be critical as well

    June 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  120. Jeffery, Toledo, Ohio

    Well, I suppose McCain could always offer to be Obama's running mate...

    June 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  121. Pugas-Az

    Be honest with the people

    June 17, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  122. Wesley

    Mr. Obama and Mr. McSame as George are both going to have to prove to the world, not just the willing voters in November, that they propose to do more than put a band-aid on the malignant tumors that have become our economy and foreign policy. Will it be four more years of turmoil or will it be four years of finger wagging and "I told ya so's?" Both presidential hopefulls will have their work cut out for them if they do not want to share the same blemish of a legacy as the current administration. I don't know Jack, maybe you should run. You have my vote.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  123. Jon (Foley, MN)

    They cant do anything! People choose to be independents because they are tired of the 2 party system and I think that most independent voters will choose ralph nader ( who you should give more coverage to) over the 2 corporate parties

    June 17, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  124. Ken in NC

    Senator Obama has got to do a lot more than he has done and he needs to move more to the middle from left. Senator McCain, well, at his age there simply isn't enough time. Maybe if he was 10 years younger than Senator Obama he might have time to do some of the things he needs to do to lure Independents.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  125. Bob Cicciu

    OBAMA: Stay the cours.
    MCCAIN: Walk on water.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  126. Todd L

    Chicago, IL

    In order for Obama to win, he would have to get a million dollar "cabin" like McCain and invite all the press and pundits to a barbeque. That way the press would be so enamored of him that they would report only the good stuff and ignore the bad stuff like they do McCain. Soon Obama will be getting coffee (or orange juice) and donuts handed to him from the Associated Press reporters and soon get some kind of "title" similar to Maverick even if it does not apply to him.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  127. Kathy K from Boynton Beach, Florida

    In order to answer this question, you have to believe this country is truly overflowing with independents.

    It's not. Most who claim to be independent are not.

    If they were, then how can anyone trying to predict the outcome of this election, state accurately, 5 months before the election, that Califorinia will be blue the moment the polls close?

    And knowing which way a state will vote in advance of the election is true for well over half of our states. That is proof positive that we are divided, and everyone knows it.

    Can we all quit pretending?

    June 17, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  128. Jon Sharp

    If Independants think like "independants" and actually research the topics, hopefully they will see McCain's economic, energy, foreign policies make more sense thatn Barack "loose change" Obama. He is a good talker, but so is my used car salesman...i still get stuck with a lemon. The 1st change anyone needs to do is change congress – both republican and democrats.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  129. Bonnie Ohio

    Party affiliations do not matter as much in this election. Voters independent, democrat or republican are looking for someone who can change the direction that this failing country is heading. The candidate who can offer solutions is one who will get the vote

    June 17, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  130. Patricia

    Obama has to start talking about specifics instead of abstracts and stop making his campaign about being a victim of attacks to hide the lack of specifics and McCain has to denounce Bush's policies on economy, war, and the environment or he will be mashed potatoes by election time.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  131. Jim

    Winning over independents is really quite simple: honor your oath of office, defend the Constitution, and enforce the laws. It's about integrity.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  132. george

    Jack ,
    I really don't think Obama can win independents. They do want change but independents don't want to risk security in the name of change. We will elect a great majority of democrats to congress and that will bring about change as McCain makes crucial decisions to keep the country safe.
    George Hinesville,Ga.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  133. Michael Anderson from Milwaukee, Wi.

    Tell the truth. We are in deep trouble, and it is getting worse by the day. The national debt is going to kill this nation, and the only way out is for everybody to pay their fair share. We can longer borrow our way out of this economic suicide. The candidate must stress that patroitism and duty to country is not just the responsibility of the middle class, but also the duty of our corporations.
    We are not hearing this from the candidates, or the media. So what does that tell us, the independent. It tells us that we are going down with the ship.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  134. Sam

    After reading all the other posts, I conclude that most people who listen to Cafferty are liberals and I being a conservative must say that I want both candidates to be honest about their past and present positions, experience and what they propose to do make U.S.A more greater and prosperous than it is currently and stand for morality and not slippery slope of moral decline.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  135. Curtis Wampler, Udall, KS

    It's simple really, Jack – They'll both have to demonstrate that they love their country more than their political party. So far, I'm not sure either one has done that.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  136. Paul in Seattle

    Obama and McCain need to start giving us Independents responsible and logical solutions to the issues before we choose a side. All we hear is, we need "change." Change, change, change, and did I mention change? No credible solutions from either of them. I think both candidates are mediocre, at best.. Probably won't vote at all, although I certainly would if Lou Dobbs was a candidate.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  137. Ellena

    I am an Independant and the main things to me is securing our border ( I live in AZ), fixing the economy, improving our image in all the other parts of the world and fixing health care (PLEASE). It is to bad that we voters can decide the issues and then find a candidate that fits them. Can we vote none of the above??

    June 17, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  138. James W. Blevins

    Be rational - I hope. Independents are about as homogeneous as the periodic table - all are different. I have no reason to believe that there is any other independent it the world with my beliefs, but I would like to think that independents are far more rational that members of either party. When decisions are made on the basis of paranoia, religion, hatred, faith, patriotism or any other alternative to reason, they are almost always wrong. I would like to think that independents are independent because both parties consistently take stands in contradiction to reason.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    June 17, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  139. Faith in MA

    I actually became an independent because of John McCain. When he was on the Republican primary ballot against George W. Bush in 2000, I was registered as a Democrat, and couldn't vote in the Republican primary, even though I wanted very much to vote for John McCain against George W. Bush that year, because I wanted a real choice between Gore and McCain that would make me actually have to think to decide who to vote for. After the primaries, I dropped my Democrat registration and have been an independent ever since (or "unenrolled", as we're referred to in MA).

    However, the John McCain I wanted to vote for in 2000 bears little or no resemblance to the John McCain running for president today. The John McCain of 2000 would not have voted for a bill that authorized any sort of torture, as he did a few months ago. The John McCain of 2000 would not have voted against the new GI bill, as he did a week or two ago. And the John McCain of 2000 spoke out against radical right evangelicals like John Hagee, and didn't go courting their support. I don't know what pod creature he has been replaced with, but the John McCain of 2008 is not someone I could consider voting for. I don't know if Barack Obama is the ultimate solution, but given a choice between the two, he is the one I will choose.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  140. John B Iowa

    Jack, Obama and McCain have to convince the Independents exactly like they have to convince the Dems, or the Reps. Be honest and state the facts and let people decide for themselves. Stop listening to all the speculators that are doing all the complaining. Which ever president will get the oil prices down and give some insentives tax insentives for alternative energy such as solar or wind etc. as we were getting before Ronald Regan came into office. Thats who will get the votes!!!!!!

    June 17, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  141. Dion Christopher H.

    By taking credible steps to behave as potential presidents that display the kind of president they would be not rhetoric or posturing. – Dion / Minnesota

    June 17, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  142. Ferde Grofe

    I rather think most Independents are awaiting when Lou Dobbs will run. That would change the course of America's political future, give the country back to its citizens and drive a stake into the heart of the two party cartel. I join a few million hopefuls who are certain its going to happen. The question is when.
    Ferde Grofe'
    Union,WA.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  143. Pat in Hmpstead MD

    Obama needs to pick a Democrat who appeals to the working class and to the women who dont hate men. I would pick Bill Richardson or Joe Biden since they have those credentials.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  144. John

    Jack, its not a question of how to win over independents for Barack, but if he will keep them. McCain can't work past his McBush ties. Barack needs to stay on course, stay on the ballot, make a good choice for VP and he will win. His VP choice will make or break it for him.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  145. Independent in New Mexico

    I will make careful note of how each canidate ( for each office , local, state and federal) stands on the issues that I care the most about . THEN I shall vote for that canidate who best represents my views on those issues. Granted that there might be the occasional "get that scoundrel OUT" box to be Xed .

    June 17, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  146. Saroop Nagra

    Jack, Independants are people who are critical thinkiers, they are willing to hear opposing view points of an issue and then formulate their own opinion. They don't care if their ulitmate opinion is left or right, liberal or conservative.

    To be appealing to independant voters, I think it would help if a candidate can reflect this ability and not be bound by one angle. It certainly hasn't helped the current guy.

    Saroop
    Surrey, BC

    June 17, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  147. Mem

    Jack I think that all Obama has to do is continue his honest approach to change and let McCain continue to sink himself with empty promises. It’s obvious that McCain shoots straight from the hip when saying what the people want to hear according to what state he is in and at what time. Why don’t people get the fact that it is Obama who knew a long time ago that we were fighting the wrong war for the wrong reason and it is McCain who goes with the flow to keep his career a float at the expense of our soldiers?
    Mem-Texas/Colorado

    June 17, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  148. Kristine from CONNECTICUT

    McCain said he will "veto any beer". That is sure to send people over to Obama.
    Obama needs to pick Chuck Hagel or Joe Biden and go rally like never before in FLORIDA, FLORIDA, FLORIDA (like TIm Russert said, God rest his soul) He is doing that in Michigan right now.
    Getting the bitter "Clintonites" will be difficult. They do not vote on issue, but on spite.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  149. Evan

    In the poll mentioned this hour, 52% of independents favor Democrats for Congress versus 37% who favor Republicans. This is interesting, considering last week's Gallup poll on Congressional approval. A whopping 19% of respondents approved of Congress versus 74% who disapproved, with 7% unsure. It should be clear that a great number of people, independents included, don't currently approve of the actions and inactions of the Democratic-led Congress. If 52% of independents still favor the Democrats for Congress in November, in the face of such high disapproval of this Democratic Congress, it shows that this large and important bloc of voters is already committed to voting strictly along party lines. In that case, McCain is hosed no matter what.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  150. Jeff

    Obama and McCain will have to start talking about illegal immigration, and how granting them amnesty (comprehensive immigration reform) will actually affect the economy. I can not imagine how by adding some 20 million illegals to the rolls of social security and medicare (which is already in big trouble), can possibly help the economy. Neither McCain nor Obama have a plan to shore up social security or medicare, or protect the border. This independant vote may just go to Nader unless I hear some serious talk about illegal immigration.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  151. RanDe from CA

    Obama needs to add Hillary to the ticket to win independants
    McCain needs to add Hillary to the ticket to win independants

    June 17, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  152. Trevor

    Seems to me that most so-called independents are in fact republicans who are too ashamed to admit it.

    Another thing. why does Wolf Blitzer keep saying that McCain is "pounding" Obama? If Obama is taking a pounding how come he is still ahead in the polls? Seems more like McCain is tiring himself out.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  153. Saroop Nagra

    Begin with this idea, a president's "base" should not be one segment of the population – but the entire population. Do that and independants will be on board.

    Saroop
    Surrey, BC

    June 17, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  154. James Carney Phoenix, AZ

    C'mon, Jack,
    We both know Obama probably doesn't have to do anything. With the economy going down the tubes at an accelerating pace, inflation on a hot air balloon ride straight-up, along with unemployment; house prices and Detroit's auto makers going down faster than the Titanic did, etc. All Obama has to do is wait for the continuing disasters to unfold and sink in; by then most Independents will be as fed-up with the Republicans as is the majority in the country.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  155. ken gifford az

    Both Obama and McCain need to drop all their previous lies to the people and say what they can do for us " LITTLE " people.
    In the primary I voted a Biden/Paul ticket and I am voting the same
    way in November. let them chew on that for now.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  156. Larry WI

    Both will have to promise something they can't possibly make happen or do not want to make happen, but wait, isn't that what happens all the time. The smart independant will match the realty of the prospect along with the experience of the peospector. One or the other will not get the vote. Is what is being proposed feasable and does the one submitting the proposal have the experienc o make t workable.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  157. Chris Duprey

    I am a union man and in the past have always voted democrat. In the election of 2006 all the democratic candidates preached on and on about change, but have since accomplished nothing to change the horrible direction this country is headed. Because of this I am now an independent voter, and to me this means there is nothing either Obama or Mcain can do to win my vote. I am tired of all the empty promises by both parties, and think it time for a REAL CHANGE!!!

    June 17, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  158. Tim from Canada

    Make Lou Dobbs their running mate

    June 17, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  159. Frank Malone

    There is one other group that Murak obama should be trying to get to vote for him in the upcoming election. This groupis the "Legal Aliens" who are entitled to vote in the presidential election. There are far more of them that are eligible to vote than the category that Jack Cafferty's original question was about. and since many have come from countries wher expressing a political expression could elicit a violent response from the country that they used to live in they are much more likely to vote and choose their candidate very carefully.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  160. Vic

    One of you libs help me here......what is Obama's plan for fixing our energy crisis? What is wrong with drilling off the continental shelf, if not, why not?; if we pull out of Iraq...what then (and please don't go back five years and say we should not be there; we are-it it what it is) What happens if we win? if we lose?

    June 17, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  161. Robert

    As a Independent who supported hillary-There is no way I would vote for Obama.Here in middle america I see union people tell meThey to will not vote obama. Mccain is a democrat who is a lot like us in middle America–Obama comes across as a person who hates white people,and wants us to keep paying for a large group of people who do not want to work but want whitey to keep giving more and more. Hussien does not play well here either He may claim hes a christian now– but we in middle america are smart enough to know you cant change your stripes just becouse you say your not a muslim.democrats had our chance–but we will be voteing Mccain in middle america becouse our beliefs are far diffrent from the east and west coast idiots. Its sad but Mccain is the true Democrat and obama is the extremist.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  162. Barbara Bucher

    If I chose a pres based on party, I would be part of said party. I think Gov. Pawlety hit it right on the head with his remarks. I will not vote for Obama, which leaves me McCain. Party affil. has nothing to do with it EXCEPT I have reached the conclusion that Obama should be running for the Socialist party, not the Dems., not that there's much difference. I do not like any of his proposed programs, and even though he is more or less a likeable person, I don't trust him enough to vote for him. McCain has one Independent vote he can count on. Whatever happens, God help us all.
    Barbara Bucher
    Sun Valley, NV

    June 17, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  163. David from Newport OR

    platform...platform...platform. Politics needs to stop catering for votes and decide what they stand for. The group that has the most similarities to the voters will win

    June 17, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  164. David

    Well Jack – they'll have to be honest and not just say what they think the independents want to hear. After all – they're independents, they're liable to want and think anything.

    You can't play to the whole house in politics without being honest and sincere. Obama comes out ahead in that count with his consistency. McCain on the other hand... one year he's the independent man and this year he's Mr. War.

    Independence usually requires a point of view.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  165. JohnW

    To win over Independents you need to speak in tongues.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  166. Syl

    Too late to win me over...have changed to Independent party after 40 plus years as a loyal voting democrat. Will write in Hillary's name and damm the consequences to the democrats! I am now an Independent because of the DNC and media not being responsive to women, period.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  167. laura

    In answer to your question Obama will have to put Hillary on the ticket to get my vote if not I cannot see voting for him that would be like putting Georg Bush back in office. McCain will have to get my vote only because his age gives him wisdome. I'm willing to take my chances on age forget beauty
    Laura

    June 17, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  168. Harry Temple III

    Jack,

    You could be the next VP, that would win everyone's vote.

    Also I think Homer Simpson should be our next Homeland Security Chief.

    Harry
    Aspen, CO

    PS: Home sales are down here in Aspen, I mean the lower price homes that are in the 5 to 8 million dollar range.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  169. Ken in Atlanta

    These are serious times. There are numerous issues affecting our nation that are interlated and dependent. Each candidate has stated a position on some of these issues. Neither has, to my satisfaction, devised a plan or demonstated a workable vision on addressing the totality of the situation. The one who can do this, and provide specifics will earn my vote. I hope it happens. I am tired of voting for the person who I think will do the least harm rather than casting a vote for a person who I think will do well. My fear: There is too much money and influence from special interests on both sides for the good of the country.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  170. Steve J

    PS...

    My Ideal Ticket

    Obama / Colin Powell

    June 17, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  171. mark thorsell

    Jack-
    I don't want to hear ANTYHING (not ONE WORD) about religion, abortion or God or gay marriage. I JUST DON'T CARE.
    I want answers about our economy, the war in Iraq, an energy policy and a foreign policy. I want the US dollar to recover. I want to create economic zones in low wage parts of the country to bring jobs back to the US. I want the US to be the leader in alternate fuel technology (creating jobs); I want the US to be the leader in stemcell reseach (creating jobs); I want the US to be the world leader in green technologies (creating jobs). I want a health care plan that protects everyone so our workforce is healthy and productive. Everything flows from jobs. I am sick to death of all of W's screw ups...and the list is just too long to go into. I vote for the guys that doesn't pawn the work of getting answers to loosers like Rice, Brownie and Rumsfield. He has the answers and will know how to implement them. It is about changing things completely. Change to save our jobs is the vote I will cast.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  172. Gary

    I would like to hear how Obama is going to pay for all his big promises and changes. I for one would like to keep as much as I can of what I work hard for. Mr. Obama's talk of tax fairness and socialized medicine scares the heck out of me.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  173. Nat from Texas

    Stop talking like politicians and start talking like leaders. The press needs to stop reporting soundbites and only report when detailed answers are involved. If it means that either candidate does not get any press coverage for a few days, so be it. We need solutions not more gibberish.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  174. JLM

    What choice do we have? Tax and spend democrats or borrow and spend republicans? Neither are talking about a balanced budget to bring the dollar back up or how they are going to handle the 53 trillion dollar un-funded medicare, medicaid and social security issues facing our future.

    Right now I see no reason to waste gas going to the polls, hopefully one will change that.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  175. JC from NJ

    Independents are for all intents and purposes democrats and republicans incognito, consequently there is not much Obama or McCain can do to attract or otherwise influence their votes significantly...

    June 17, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  176. Midwest

    Who can show Vision and Leadership beyond drilling off the Florida coastline? How about setting a national goal, like Kennedy did in the 60's to put a man on the moon, to once and for all get America off of this OIL choke collar around our necks. Put our countries resources and brain power behind technologies that are clean, cheap and most of all, American Made!

    June 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  177. Dan Gordon

    In the end the Liberal Progressive Obama will not win over the Independents – they will see what's hiding behind his smiling mask.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  178. Gary from NJ

    For Obama, it would be to give SPECIFICS on how he will change the world/US instead of lofty holier than thou specifics. So far a lot of socialist populist blather.

    For McCain, it is to convince the public that he is truly going to make decisions that directly answer the issues at hand (energy, security and economy)and not playing to the "middle" just to achieve the win in November. He knows what is needed to address the issues but is afraid the truth will not play to the middle.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  179. Ralph-Corpus Christi- Texas

    Jack- to win over independents, they'll both have to take a pledge not to veto beer.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  180. Marty, Idaho

    This independent is leaning toward Obama because I think his management style is the best I've seen. If he runs this country the way he has run his campaign, we will all benefit. Also, I tookthe time to go to the candidate's websites and read their policies and ideas first hand. However, my final decision will go to the person who doesn't make me ill with negativity before November.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:46 pm |