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Best electoral advantage is party, not incumbency, new study underscores

Griffiths is the editor of Independent Voter News, where a version of this story first appeared.

A new report reinforces something political reform advocates and experts have been saying for years: Partisan identity is becoming the primary determinant in nearly every election.

The "Monopoly Politics" study, a biennial project of the electoral reform advocacy group FairVote, predicts the results of all 435 seats in the House long before Election Day. The 2020 version, released last week, predicted 357 "high confidence seats" with a 99.7 percent accuracy rate. The group bases its predictions on prior voting patterns, not on polling results, a methodology that has worked since FairVote began the project in 1997.

The predictions were made fully two years ahead of time, in November 2018, a startling reminder of how little competition there is in congressional contests and the consequence this has on the nation's politics. The authors say a central takeaway is the increasing role partisanship plays in the outcome of such elections.

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Big Picture

Maybe this is the best ad of the whole 2020 campaign

Griffiths is the editor of Independent Voter News, where a version of this story first appeared.

Voters are constantly inundated with the back and forth mudslinging between candidates of the two major parties. The rhetoric on the campaign trail, on the airwaves and on social media has spiraled down to dangerously toxic levels, and things are only getting worse.

And in the middle of that vortex now stand the two people who want to be Utah's next governor. In some of the most alarming footage of this extraordinary political year, they're appearing on camera together in hopes of showing the country that there is a better way.

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Pandemic's made partisanship even worse, independent voters say

Griffiths is the editor of Independent Voter News, where a version of this story first appeared.

A whopping four out of five independents say the coronavirus pandemic has made partisanship in politics even clearer — and more critical to combat.

That's the top takeaway from the second nationwide poll conducted by Independent Voting, one of the main advocacy groups seeking to galvanize the two-fifths of Americans who don't identify with either major party and view their duopoly as one of democracy's major ills.

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