Results of Independents’ Debate Scorecard

Eighty-seven people in the Independent Voting network took our survey and gave a strong critique of the candidates and moderator performances as they looked for signs of recognition and respect for independent voters and support for political reform. Many were left wanting and with dim impressions of candidates’ views on independents and our concerns.

They all act like if we are watching, we must think Democrats are the heroes.Anonymous

TV ratings for the debates were higher than predicted by NBC executives who said privately they didn’t expect viewership to top 10 million. The first night of debate had 15.3 million viewers and the second had 18.1 million.

Independents, however remained critical of the debate format and the moderators.

Not only did they (moderators) not speak about independent voters, they actively suppressed that information.  By that I mean, they ran the debate as a power contest among conventional front-runner candidates, thus damping down the ability of more creative, less partisan candidates to get their point of view across.— N.L, Cincinnati, OH

I’ve come to the conclusion that the debates are rigged to a certain extent by the media and with the type of topics covered and how much time they gave candidates based on where the response was going.— M.H. Washington, DC

While Gallup’s June figures show that 46% of Americans consider themselves independent, this plurality of voters was never mentioned by any of the 5 moderators and only referenced by 2 of the 20 Democratic Party candidates : Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang.

We were not mentioned in any way that includes us as who we are in the body politic.” — D.B, New York, NY

Political reform was a topic on both nights of the debate, as several candidates referred to the need to address issues such as political corruption, gerrymandering, automatic and same day voter registration, a new voting rights act, and campaign finance reform.

Here are additional results:

  • 69% said one or more candidate struck them as being other than a politician
  • 72% said one or more candidate expressed values that they felt close to
  • 48% said they lived in a state where the DP did not permit them to vote
  • 18% didn’t know if they could vote in the DP primary
  • 31% said they were permitted to vote in the DP primary

The next set of debates takes place July 30-31 in Detroit and will be sponsored by CNN with Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper moderating.