Jeffrey M. Jones
Sept 19, 2010
PRINCETON, NJ — Americans’ desires for a third political party are as high as they have been in seven years. Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe a third major political party is needed because the Republican and Democratic Parties do a poor job of representing the American people. That is a significant increase from 2008 and ties the high Gallup has recorded for this measure since 2003.
The finding, based on an Aug. 27-30 USA Today/Gallup poll, comes at a time when Americans are widely dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States  and give relatively weak approval ratings to the president  and Congress .
Though the rise in support for a third party could be linked to the Tea Party movement, Tea Party supporters are just about average in terms of wanting to see a third party created. Sixty-two percent of those who describe themselves as Tea Party supporters would like a third major party formed, but so do 59% of those who are neutral toward the Tea Party movement. Tea Party opponents are somewhat less likely to see the need for a third party.