Pollster John Zogby released an article today examining whether or not Republicans can hold the independent vote as they did in 2010. The GOP will need a another streak of independent votes to take on President Obama in 2012.

Article from Forbes:

What do Republican voters want, and how will that mesh with the interests of independent voters who decide elections? The answer will be central to whether Barack Obama or a Republican lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January 2012.

In last week’s mid-term elections, Republicans had much greater success than did Democrats in getting their base voters to the polls, and exit polls found the GOP also won among independents by 18 points. The 2012 Presidential electorate should be more ideologically balanced, and the anger of independent voters may not be exclusively be targeted at Democrats now that Republicans control one house of Congress.

To succeed in 2012, Republicans may be able to replicate Karl Rove’s “50% plus one” game plan. The goal was to maximize turnout in the Republican conservative base and win a small majority of unaffiliated voters. That worked twice to elect President George W. Bush. For it to work again, Republicans must satisfy the needs of both conservative Republicans and enough independents.

Read the rest here.

I think a fresh face is needed to energize Independent voters for 2012 as well as some long time credibility from candidate who’s been building a coalition for years.