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How Do Americans Feel About a Third Major Political Party?


A new survey by The Economist and YouGov shows nearly half (46%) of Americans say they’d consider voting for a third-party candidate, though only around one-third (31%) have actually ever done it.

  • The survey was conducted from July 30 to August 2, a few days after a new political party, Forward, was announced by its bipartisan group of founders, including former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang (pictured above).

Survey highlights:

The survey found more U.S. adults say a third political party is necessary for the country (39%) than say the Democratic and Republican parties are enough (30%).

  • Similar shares of Democrats (37%) and Republicans (36%) say a third party is necessary, though independents (50%) were by far the most likely.

Despite being slightly less likely to view a third party as necessary, Republicans (29%) were more likely than Democrats (26%) to report voting for a third-party candidate in the past.

Differing views:

The survey examined interest in a third party across political ideologies, ranging from strong partisans (those who strongly identify with their party) to partisan learners (those who don’t identify with a party but “lean toward” one), finding Democratic-leaners were most likely to say a third party is necessary (62%), while strong Republicans were the least likely (26%).

  • Support for a third party was also positively associated with holding liberal social views: People who identified as “very liberal” were most likely to support the formation of a third party (61%), while those who say they’re “very conservative” were least likely (31%).

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