Gallup: Public divided on need for third party

From “Americans divide evenly in a recent Gallup Poll on whether the two major political parties are adequately representing the public, or whether a third party is needed. That represents a shift from 2007, when a majority said the Democrats and Republicans were doing ‘such a poor job that a third major party is needed.’ … Not surprisingly, political independents are most likely to favor the emergence of a third major party, with 63% holding this view. In contrast, a majority of Democrats (56%) and Republicans (55%) think the two major parties are doing an adequate job and thus there is no need for another party that can compete with them.”

10 thoughts on “Gallup: Public divided on need for third party

  1. Sivarticus

    That’s surprising, too many must be drinking the koolaid that makes them believe everything will be cool if they get Obama and the Democrats in power. It will be very worrisome indeed for the third party movement if the combined vote total is less than 2004 (a very bad year). Since 1992, third party vote totals have nearly halved themselves every Presidential election cycle.

  2. Mike Gillis

    I think the numbers will top the 2004 numbers. Not only because of the incredibly hostile environment for third party candidates – Nader in particular – but because there are more high profile candidates running in this election than in 2004.

    Nader is a household name and Barr and McKinney are both former members of Congress.

    As a Nader volunteer I can tell you that hostility is WAY down from 2004 and given Ralph’s greater ballot access, I think we’re going to see a jump in votes from the last time he ran.

  3. LaineRBT

    I am wondering how Nader and McKinney will split the Green vote in places like Illinois and California. I would think Nader especially will do better than in 2004 but I am wondering how much McKinney and Nader will eat into eachother’s support.

  4. Ross Levin

    I’ll bet the percentage of Americans that favor a third party goes down during presidential election years. The politics are so divisive around presidential politics that people will justify things like damaging the democratic process in order to keep a “spoiler” off of the ballot.

  5. green in brooklyn


    I think McKinney will get a larger chunk of the Green vote than in 2004 (can’t do much lower than Cobb did). The resurgance in IL greens will support McKinney, and she’s on the ballot in a few states (NY & OH key among them) that Cobb was not on in 2004 as well. I think Nader’s upside possibility is not from the green vote, but from the independents, and he’ll pull from conservatives and moderate dems alike.

    Nader is on more ballots, and is getting more national press, so he’ll probably do better than McKinney at this point, but McKinney will have a pretty good showing, I think – at least 1%.

  6. LaineRBT

    If McKinney got 1% that would be around a million votes and I highly there is enough room for both Nader and McKinney to get that much support.

  7. Ross Levin

    I doubt that McKinney would get 1 million votes. She’s only on the ballot in front of 70% of the population, and she doesn’t have as much name recognition as Nader. People know that if you’re looking for a protest vote, look to Nader.

  8. inDglass

    I am not surprised. Obama tells the Democrats what they want to hear, and the Republicans will blindly follow the worst of candidates in the name of party loyalty. Also, I see many people who are passionate about Democrat and Republican candidates at the state and local levels.

    Here in Indiana, the Republicans are so thrilled with incumbent governor Mitch Daniels that they put tacky, billboard-size campaign signs in their front yards. Balance the budget and pretend to help children and the people will drool over you. Nevermind that he put us in the wrong time zone, pushes public domain land-robbing, advocates permanent property taxes in the state constitution, and wants to usurp township and county government authority and eliminate 90% of elected public offices in the state!

  9. Catholic Trotskyist

    There is definitely no need for a third party until the constitution is amended to abolish the electoral college and provide for runoff voting in the elections. All the effort should be put into lobbying President Obama to move these changes forward. The Catholic Trotskyist Party of America is the first Third Party to endorse this set of changes and to call for a suspension of all third party independent campaigns in districts where both of the major parties are competetive. It is awaiting the following of all other third parties, though recognizing that this is unlikely.

  10. Spence

    Obama doesn’t tell anyone what they want to hear. He doesn’t tell them what they don’t want to hear either. There’s the secret in a nutshell. He doesn’t say shit about ANYTHING.

    “I’m for change…”

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