Democrats and Republicans have ruled and battled in Washington, D.C., for nearly two centuries, but support for a third major U.S. political party has the support of a large majority (63%), according to the latest Gallup Poll.
The poll asked respondents if they agree the GOP and Democrats do "such a poor job" representing the American people that "a third major party is needed," and the 63% in agreement is an all-time high in the poll and represented a 7-point increase from a year ago.
This high trumps the 61% seen in 2017 after former President Donald Trump took office and faced what he called a "cloud" over his presidency by Democrats' "obstruction," and in 2021 after Democrats' Jan. 6 narratives claiming an "insurrection" in which they failed to convict Trump for being responsible.
Pundits have noted that a third-party 2024 presidential candidate would be beneficial for the Republican nominee, particularly Trump, while Democrats project it would cut into President Joe Biden's support.
Notably, a frustrated Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is weighing leaving the Democrats' "rigged" primary structure to run as an independent, which has many political insiders projecting he will siphon off many anti-Trump votes from Biden, who is increasingly unpopular among independent voters in polls, including Gallup's.
Also, moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate for a third party – perhaps with the No Labels faction – but pundits see him more as an anti-Trump option who would pull Democrat voters from Biden.
A third-party alternative is naturally popular among independents, and 75% in the Gallup poll say "a third major party is needed" – a number than has not been below 70% in the poll since 2013 – but it also notable more Republicans want a third-party option.
Historically, third-party support is below majorities for registered Democrats and Republican voters, but that is no longer a case for GOP voters: 58% want a major third party now, up for 45% in last year's poll.
That appears to align with the anti-Trump Republicans disenchanted with the prospect of having to vote for another four years of Biden, 80.
Democrats wanting a third-party candidate are still in a minority at 46%, but that is up from 40% a year ago.
"With the 2024 presidential election looming, noted educator Cornel West has declared his candidacy for the Green Party nomination, and political scion Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is expected to announce his independent presidential candidacy," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones wrote in his "bottom line" analysis.
"In addition, the 'No Labels' organization is laying the groundwork to run a third-party candidate that represents the political center. This effort is partly designed to address public sentiment in favor of a third party and dissatisfaction with a rematch of the 2020 election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, both of whom are unpopular with U.S. adults.
"The No Labels organization says it has no interest in playing a spoiler role and will not decide on its 2024 intentions until after the major-party nominees have been determined."
Gallup's annual governance poll was conducted Sept. 1-23 among 1,016 U.S. adults. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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