The Pew research folks went out and surveyed the public, and then came to a study conclusion....ninety-percent of folks are hard-wired into their political persuasion, and only ten-percent are 'flippers'....meaning they could vote differently in every single election.
After an extensive amount of travel, and time spent in Europe....I tend to have a differing opinion.
I think up until the 1960s/1970s, you had people who were mostly hard-wired to their vote. The Grandparents were Democrats....so were Mom and Dad, so the kid voted the same way.
In the 1980s, I think both the Democrats and Republicans went to some theme of identity-politics. That meant that agendas were varied, and it made hard-wiring more difficult.
A great example would be looking at Alabama politics in the 1950s/1960s....to see mostly Democratic voters. At some point in the 1970s to the 1980s, around 30-to-40 percent of the voters began to flip, and identified themselves more as Republicans. Part of this was the Reagan appeal, and part of it went to religious agendas that identified more to the GOP message than the Democratic message. Right now today, you can say that more than two-thirds of the state identify to the GOP theme. Moore may have lost his Senate election more on incompetence than his GOP-anchored stance.
So I'll offer five observations:
1. I suspect that five to eight percent of the population have never voted, and will never vote. There are varying reasons for this, but trying to appeal to them is a wasted effort. This group might also include people who've spent $120,000 for a college education, and find themselves still deep into debt at age 45.
2. There's probably 50-percent of the population who are hard-wired to absolutely vote along a line. It wouldn't matter if Trump slept with sixty different Stormy-bimbos....this hard-wired guy would still stick with him. And the same is true for folks obsessed with Obama....even if he'd admitted that he smoked over 3,000 joints in his life.
3. I think around five-percent of Americans are unable to pick any candidate, and will mostly wait till twelve hours prior to election day, to flip a coin. They frankly don't care, and it's way more complicated for them to decide upon something (like picking the color of their new car, or if they should spend $12 extra for a luxury hotel room versus the regular-super-duper room).
4. Trump revamped the agenda process, and some of these folks now are drawn to a reality political figure. If you could find a ex-Mennonite-turned-magician-turned-cajun fry cook, you'd likely latch onto that guy as the next Trump.
5. Pew's research goes to a certain point. You could have some candidate lined up with a 95-percent chance of winning on election day, then find out that the statistics really weren't looking at the whole landscape, and it was a 95-percent chance of that candidate losing.