Americans’ support for a third party has dwindled over the past two years, according to a new Gallup poll
The survey shows that 46 percent of respondents think a third party is necessary, down from 55 percent a year ago and 58 percent two years ago.
Meanwhile, the portion of Americans who think the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job of representing the American people, has risen to 45 percent from 38 percent in 2011 and 35 percent in 2010.
Not surprisingly, more independents than Republicans and Democrats do favor a third party. The number for independents is 58 percent, compared to 40 percent for Democrats, and 36 percent for Republicans.
That 58 percent reading for independents is the second lowest over the past decade, down from 68 percent last year and 74 percent two years ago.
The 40 percent for Democrats is down from 43 percent in 2011 and 45 percent in 2010. The 36 percent for Republicans is down from 45 percent last year and 47 percent two years ago.
The decrease in overall support for a third-party might stem from the fact that “the poll was conducted in a presidential election year, shortly after the Republican and Democratic conventions,” writes Gallup’s Frank Newport.
Despite the substantial remaining support for a third party, “no third-party candidate who garners a significant level of support has emerged,” he notes.
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