Independents are nonideological problem-solvers, but they do not have a split-the-difference approach to politics. They are fiscally conservative but socially progressive, with a strong libertarian streak. It's on fiscal issues that independents are putting the Obama administration on notice.The liberal wing of the Democrat party simply can't attact these people.
Bailout backlash is reflected in independents' attitude about the expanding social safety net. Just 43% believe that we "should help more needy people, even if it means going deeper into debt" -- down 14 points over two years. Independents' belief that "labor unions are necessary to protect the working person" has declined 23% since 2003. They are closer to the Republican view that government is usually wasteful and inefficient.
Obama ran as a moderate but is revealing himself day in and day out to be a big government, big spending statist.
To make a comeback, the GOP has to dig in its heels against crazy government spending. The biggest social issue facing the country is the economy and a Democrat-controlled government taking more control of it. This is the fight Republicans must take on to win the votes of Independents.