The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

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Generation Z and the Rise of the Independent Party

Independent+candidates+and+voters+have+diverse+political+outlooks%2C+from+moderate+to+more+extreme.+Their+increase+in+numbers+reflects+a+larger+dissastisfaction+with+the+two+major+political+parties.
Photo by Haley DiFruscio
Independent candidates and voters have diverse political outlooks, from moderate to more extreme. Their increase in numbers reflects a larger dissastisfaction with the two major political parties.

  In a time where severe partisanship and political polarization are the reality in America, most people are choosing not to pick sides. As of Dec. 2023, according to Gallup, an overwhelming 43 percent of adults in the United States self-identify as independents. Though independents have made up the majority of registered voters since 1991, the number has risen in recent years in a collaboration between older voters and younger ones.

  It is not unusual for younger voters to identify and register to vote as independents. Ms. North is a humanities teacher who assists Millbrook students in registering to vote. She commented that, “Lots of students that ask for my help aren’t particularly interested in a certain political party.” This is for a variety of reasons including disagreement with the two major political parties, wanting flexibility in voting options, or a lack of interest in politics overall. A greater number of young people are choosing to identify as independents, contributing to the larger population of independent voters overall.

  However, what has most driven the change in recent years is actually Millennial and Generation X voters who aren’t picking a political party as they get older, which is what analysts would typically expect. Gail Hawthorne is a senior at Enloe High School who is registered to vote as an independent. She explains her decision saying, “I didn’t need to pick a political party, so I didn’t.” Being an Independent allows you to select a primary to vote in rather than being bound to whatever party you registered with. The benefit to registering with a political party is the opportunity to vote in closed primaries, which Hawthorne and other young voters don’t see as essential.

  Does this growing trend of independents mean that an independent candidate will soon win the presidency? That is likely not the case. Despite a significant pool of young voters rallying around candidates like Robert F. Kennedy or Claudia de la Cruz, third-party candidates are very unlikely to win national races. However, both the Democratic and Republican parties will lose power and money as voters are disillusioned with major political parties. Throughout the history of America, the landscape of politics has changed wildly from decade to decade, even year to year, and these shifting trends are an indication that more changes are on the horizon.

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About the Contributor
Haley DiFruscio
Haley DiFruscio, Section Editor
What’s up! I'm Haley DiFruscio, I'm a senior and this is my second year on the Cat Talk staff! After school, you can find me in one of the million honors societies here at Millbrook, hanging out at French Club, or in the choir room. I'm in Madrigals, which is Millbrook's advanced choir and I've been singing for over 8 years. My weekends are filled with reading, watching movies and tv shows, painting, and baking. I'm excited for senior year and I hope you enjoy your time here at The Cat Talk Newspaper!

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