First, the reason the establishment politicians and pundits keep trying to convince us that we need the independent voters --- establishment currently holds the power, and make the money. They do not want to be kicked out of power, or removed from the flow of big money. So, they NEED to convince the voting public that only a "moderate" can win - a "moderate" being someone who is chosen by the establishment to keep themselves in power. A moderate is someone who basically has no core values - he will spin in whichever direction the wind blows. A moderate can be "played" by the establishment.
But here is the truth you are not likely to hear anywhere else. Candidates do NOT need to cater to independents, no matter how many there may be. It is estimated that 33% of voters say they are Democrats, 21% claim to be Republicans and the remaining 46% claim to be Independents. But here is a statistic the media and establishment are not telling you - more than 70% of all independents lean right. In other words, they are basically conservative, but do not like being called Republican because ESTABLISHMENT Republicans have soiled the name so badly.
Now figure it out - if 70% of independents are basically conservative, then a candidate that is a true conservative (not a moderate) will attract the 21% that is their base PLUS 70% of independents, which comes to a total of 53% of all voters.
And that is more than enough to win an election.
But if the establishment and pundits are able to successfully convince voters that we must vote for a moderate in order to appeal to independents, we will actually lose more of the independent vote, simply because "moderate" is not what any conservative wants, regardless of whether they call themselves "Republican" or "Independent".
We fell for that line of crap in the last election and nominated the moderate McCain. And in an election where a conservative would have won hands down, Republicans lost in a big way. Why? Because McCain was moderate. And a moderate loses the enthusiasm of the conservative base, and loses most of the conservative independents.
Notice that Obama was NOT moderate, but very far left.
This is a battle between liberalism and conservatism. If we nominate another "moderate", we will not only lose the election, but will also lose our country.