06/14/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Note to GOP: It's the Independents, Stupid

I've talked quite a bit lately about the biggest problem that Republicans face as they look at the 2010 and 2012 elections: it's ability to win over independent voters.

If you look at the current trend, 38 percent of voters self-identify as Independents, 37 percent as Democrats, and just 25 percent as Republicans. Assuming that each party gets 90 percent support from its base, Republicans would have to win independents by a 59 to 41 margin to win a typical election. Nevermind that it's Democrats who are handily winning independents these days.

But if you want one pretty dramatic example of the uphill battle Republicans face in trying to win over independents -- as they spend an inordinate amount of time attacking President Obama and his agenda and policies -- it's the right track/wrong track trend among those very independents.

Right Track/Wrong Track (Independent Voters only)

(CBS News polls)

May 2009: 42% right track, 52% wrong track

Apr 2009: 35% right track, 54% wrong track

Feb 2009: 21% right track, 68% wrong track

Oct 2008: 4% right track, 89% wrong track

Again, those numbers reflect independents only.

It doesn't take a political rocket scientist to understand this spiral death trap that the GOP seems to be in when it comes to the most critical bloc of voters that will decide their immediate electoral future: independents.

Aside from independents' strong approval of President Obama's job performance (they give him 59/28 approval in this week's poll), they are growing massively more comfortable in the direction of the country -- the very direction which the GOP is fighting tooth and nail.

Good luck with that, GOP...

Mark Nickolas is the Managing Editor of Political Base, and this story was from his original post, "It"s The Independents, Stupid."