A recent Gallup poll reveals that a majority of Americans are looking favorably on the idea of a third political party as a necessary solution to being represented in the American political system.
Americans’ desire for a third party has increased since last fall and is now at a high point in Gallup’s trend. Sixty-two percent of American adults say “the parties do such a poor job of representing the people that a third political platform is needed.”
In figures issued by Gallup in September, this trend increased 5 points. “Support for a third party has risen in recent years, including readings of 60% in 2013 and 2015 and 61% in 2017,” Gallup reveals.
On the other hand, 33 % believe that Democrats and Republicans are doing an “adequate” job of representing the American people. This figure, however, is the lowest recorded since October 2013.
The poll also showed that Americans’ favorable opinion of the GOP has declined to 37%, while 48% view Democrats positively. Many people also described themselves as “politically independent.”
Independents are typically much more likely than Republicans or Democrats to favor a third political party, but in the current survey, Republicans are nearly as likely as independents to hold this view, 63% to 70%.
“Independents,” Gallup notes, “tend to be much more likely than Republicans or Democrats to favor a third political party.” However, the current poll shows that Republicans now share the view of a political alternative to two-party politics as advocated by independents.
“The number of Republicans who believe in the idea of a third party has increased from 63 percent to 70 percent,” Gallup states. “That represents a dramatic shift for Republicans since last September, when 40% favored a third party.”
On the Democratic side, the numbers are more favorable for President Biden’s platform. Gallup reveals that Democrats backing an alternative to bipartisanship dropped to 46%, down from 52% in September.
In contrast to the CNBC poll results, Gallup shows that 68% of Republicans actually prefer Trump to remain the party’s leader, while 31% want the party to have a new leader. According to Gallup, more Republicans show that the GOP revolves around former President Trump and his America First agenda.
Republican preferences for a partisan alternative are similar among those who want Trump to continue to lead the party and among those who prefer a new leader. Disaffection with the GOP would demonstrate a disconnect between the Republican National Committee and Republican supporters.
An analysis that takes into account preference for a third political party, and preference for Trump as party leader, finds that 41% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents favor a third party and want Trump to be the leader of the Republican Party.
According to Gallup, Republicans want a more conservative party
Gallup also asked Republican supporters and Republican-leaning independents which direction they would like the GOP to go in the future. A broad 40% want it to be more conservative while 34% want it to stay the way it is. Only a short 24% want it more moderate.
While those who say they are Republicans are twice as likely to say the party should become more conservative (44% over 21%), it is independents who are split on this question. Republican-leaning independents are split between 36% who want the GOP to move further to the right of the ideological spectrum and 30% who want it to move toward the ideological center.