As an independent candidate last fall, I was often told by voters that they didn't want to waste their vote on somebody who they thought couldn't win; As if it were a game, and they were betting on it. In reality, they were truly wasting their vote, on someone they knew would under-represent them. Although we talk about the poor choice of candidates, it's really poor choices by the voters who create the political field. On the national stage, we now have two independent types attracting the early attention. But, in both cases, there is a gimmick. Trump, nominally a Republican, is a well know showman. Sanders, really a left wing Democrat, posed for decades as an independent. He was only elected as an independent because of Vermont's unique character. In the political reality of America, you must be a celebrity to succeed as an independent. The last independent in the Pennsylvania State House was in the 1930's.
Locally, party affiliation always seems to be the dogma that wins elections.
With the Mike Fleck controversy, we here in the blogosphere receive many comments about making better choices in the voting booth. Although, there would be no down side to a change like that, I would be surprised to see the sentiment effect election results. Instead, the normal candidates will just incorporation the word change into their election speeches.