This second article asks what it means to be independent in the contemporary United States. Four different meanings are hypothesized: (1) negative feelings about major political parties and partisanship; (2) positive identification with ideals of independence, especially individualistic autonomy; (3) neutrality or indifference because of no detectable party differences of significance; (4) a self-perceived pattern of variability in partisan behaviour. These four attitudinal dimensions are supported empirically via principal components analysis using both national and Wisconsin data. The four dimensions of independence attitudes show varied patterns of association with general indices of Independence self-classification, relevant political attitudes and behaviours, and various antecedents such as age and education.
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