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Support for third political party rises

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Casey Harper

(The Center Square) – The majority of Americans want a third political party, polling shows.

According to a new Gallup poll, 63 percent of surveyed Americans say both the Democratic and Republican parties do a “poor job” and that a third political party is needed. That marks only the third time more than 60 percent of Americans have wanted a third party since Gallup began tracking the data.

“This represents a seven-percentage-point increase from a year ago and is the highest since Gallup first asked the question in 2003,” Gallup said. “However, the current measure is not meaningfully different from the prior highs of 61 percent in 2017 and 62 percent in 2021, shortly after the January 2021 Capitol Hill riots.”

Americans have become increasingly divided in recent years, with both parties becoming more extreme to satiate their respective bases. Even still, Americans are dissatisfied with their parties.

The data comes as a broad spectrum of issues in America have become worse in recent years.

Illegal immigration is soaring, inflation has skyrocketed in recent years while wages have not kept up, and the national debt hit $33 trillion this year and is rising at a breakneck pace. The opioid epidemic is killing Americans around the country, and crime is on the rise.

“Over the past two decades, majorities of U.S. adults have typically agreed that a third party is needed,” Gallup said. “The last time this wasn’t the case was in 2012, when Americans were evenly divided. Gallup also found close divisions in 2006 and 2008 polls. In 2003, a record-low 40 percent called for a third party when 56 percent thought the parties were doing “an adequate job of representing the American people.”

The supporters of the Republican party, which is currently divided between populist and traditionally conservative elements, want a third option more than Democrats.

“Most often, support for a third party among Democrats and Republicans is below the majority level,” Gallup said. “However, this year’s poll shows 58 percent of Republicans endorsing a third U.S. political party, up from 45 percent a year ago. The only other time more Republicans than now expressed support for a third party was in a late January/early February 2021 conducted after the Jan. 6 riots, the second impeachment of Donald Trump, and the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden.

“There has also been an uptick in support for a third party among Democrats this year, from 40 percent to 46 percent, though still less than a majority back the idea,” Gallup added.