The Republican candidate in Massachusetts won an election against a mediocre Democrat who took her victory for granted...in a state that is no stranger to electing Republicans to the states highest offices...during an opposition-majority incumbency in two of the branches of government. To cite this as a harbinger of some political hurricane is science fiction.
True Independents are a viable force, but a force that has not yet been reckoned with in the US. American politics are media driven and the Senate race in Massachusetts is a prime example. The media in nearly every case intermixes and confuses undecided voters with actual Independents.....and added to the mix are decidedly partisan voters who find it vogue to label themselves as Independents when their party of conscience has been roundly and soundly lambasted as hypocritical and dangerous. True Independents are not evenly acknowledged by the media...a media that really only recognizes and thus caters to the two major parties. It's ratings built on Us v. Them.
Some Independent power can be harnessed....as noted by the farcical 'tea party' movement. I've seen plenty of Independent and Libertarian friends get sucked in by the propaganda of the 'third way'. It takes a bit of an intervention to make them see that the tea party is a Republican funded and directed movement dressed in different clothes. Many people will espouse smaller government and individual liberty yet continue to vote in statist politicians and policies that grow government and infringe on liberty. An acquaintance and I were bouncing ideas around a while back about how we could truly get a movement started that held to principles over party. Until that time comes [if it ever can] 'Independents' will be treated as either undecided Democrats or Republicans.....or used as a false flag by the triumvirate of corporate-media-politics.