“Political experts in the state told me that the vast majority of New Hampshire’s undeclared voters aren’t really independent in the true sense of the word; they are typically Democrats or Republicans who don’t like labels and want flexibility. And while independents like Dustin can certainly juice a candidate’s numbers (they helped give independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders his historic 22-point win in 2016 and propelled John McCain to victory in 2008), they’re typically not enough to swing an election.
‘Nobody’s ever won because they won the independents,’ said Andy Smith, a University of New Hampshire pollster. Smith, who has polled voters in the state for decades, told me no candidate since 1972 has won without capturing a plurality of the state’s registered voters.
Undeclared voters’ ‘influence is greatly exaggerated,’ he said. ‘Feared, but exaggerated.’”