The percentage of Americans who want a viable third political option outside of the Republican and Democratic parties has reached a new high, according to the latest Gallup poll on the topic. Gallup’s poll showed a “dramatic” increase in Republican support for a third party, up more than 20 points since the last survey on the topic in September.
But since the previous poll, former President Donald Trump has been reported to have discussed the possibility of breaking away from the GOP to start his own “MAGA” or “Patriot Party,” which could play a role in the reason for more Republicans expressing an openness to leaving the GOP.
The pollster reported Monday that 62% “of U.S. adults say the ‘parties do such a poor job representing the American people that a third party is needed,’ an increase from 57% in September,” noting that “support for a third party has been elevated in recent years, including readings of 60% in 2013 and 2015 and 61% in 2017.”
Meanwhile, Gallup noted, “33% of Americans believe the two major political parties are doing an adequate job representing the public, the smallest percentage expressing this view since the 26% reading in October 2013.”
In the survey taken Jan. 21-Feb. 2, a record number of adults, 50% were identified as independents, and the findings showed that favorability for the Republican Party in particular has slid down to 37%. Favorability for the Democratic Party sits at 48%.
Forbes pointed out that 63% of Republicans voiced support for the creation of a new party, compared to 70% of independents and only 46% of Democrats. Within the two major established parties, there also appears to be division over the direction of their respective agendas.
Also, The Hill reported that 4 in 10 of Republicans say they want their party to become more conservative after the end of former President Trump’s term, while 34% hope it will stay the same and just 24% want it to become more moderate. Democrats are more split, with 34% wanting their party to shift left, 34% wanting it to remain the same and 31% wanting it to shift right.
While most Republicans surveyed want to see Trump remain in charge of the GOP moving forward, others have called on the party to move forward without the former president following his second impeachment trial by House Democrats, where he was acquitted last Saturday, February 13, 2021.