WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A majority of Americans (58 percent) say the U.S. needs a third political party because the existing Republican and Democratic parties are doing “such a poor job” representing the people.
The Gallup Governance poll conducted from Sept. 4-7 showed that more than half of the American people continue to want an additional political party to represent their interests. A majority of Americans have held this same belief since 2007, with exceptions in the fall of 2008 and 2012 during the presidential elections.
Seventy-one percent of independents polled by Gallup and 47 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of Republicans expressed support for a third major U.S. political party to enter the scene.
For nearly all of the past 11 years, Republicans and Democrats have been equally as likely to favor a third party. When Republicans held the presidency and both houses of Congress the Democrats were more inclined to have a third party, and during the rise of the Tea Party Republicans were more likely to support a third political party.
The poll of 1,017 U.S. adults did not quite reach the historical high of 60 percent calling for a third party during the partial federal government shutdown of last October. At that point, more than one-quarter (26 percent) of Americans said their political parties were doing an “adequate job.”
Currently, more than one-third (35 percent) of Americans say their party is doing an adequate job representing the American people.