Support for a third political party is higher than ever before, according to a new national survey. Gallup’s January survey showed 62% of respondents agreed with the statement the Republican and Democrat “parties do such a poor job representing the American people that a third party is needed.”
The percentage of survey participants who agreed with that statement in September 2020 was 57%.
Support for a third party reached 61% in Gallup’s survey in 2017, then dipped to 57%, and is now back up to 62%.
Gallup began asking the question in 2003, when just 40% agreed there was a perceived need for a third party.
Meanwhile, there was a sharp decrease in the percentage of participants who felt the two major political parties are doing an “adequate job representing the public.” The support for that statement was at 40% in September 2020, and was just 33% in January 2021.
The survey talked to more than 900 Americans between Jan. 21-Feb. 2.
The increase in support for a third party appears to be coming from participants who identify as Republicans. In September, 40% of Republican survey participants thought there was a perceived need for a third party. That increased to 63% in January.
“Americans' appetite for a third party has never been greater in Gallup's nearly two decades of polling on the subject, and now a majority of Republicans are joining the usual majority of independents in wanting that option,” Gallup’s report reads.
It could have something to do with how the Republican party looks for national leadership following former President Donald Trump’s election loss.
Gallup’s survey asked whether people prefer that Trump remain the GOP’s leader, or whether the party should have a new leader.
In their January poll, 68% of participants who identify as Republican prefer Trump to remain the party’s leader, and 31% want a new leader.