This quote from Gallup sums up recent momentum towards what I call the independent groundswell:
Although 2010 brought some major legislative successes for the Democratic majority, it was not a good year for the party politically. In addition to losing control of the House of Representatives and seeing the number of Democratic senators and governors reduced, the party saw its support among the general population drop to tie its 22-year low.
However, even as Republicans were enjoying great electoral success, the percentage of Americans identifying with the GOP, the core base of the party, barely increased. Instead, the major movement in American politics since 2008 seems to be away from the Democratic Party and toward independent political status, rather than alignment with the GOP. Still, the Republican Party appeared to capitalize on many independents’ frustration with the majority Democratic Party, in much the same way the Democrats capitalized on independents’ frustration with the Republicans between 2006 and 2008.
It’s worth noting that previous to 2008 it was the Republicans who were seeing an exodus into the independent camp. As the pendulum swings back and forth, the parties move farther and farther away from the center, and both parties fail to solve so many of the issues facing our country each year… I only seeing this trend continue in the medium term.