Jeffrey M. Jones
October 11, 2013
This article is part of an ongoing series  analyzing how the government shutdown and the debate over raising the debt ceiling are affecting Americans’ views of government, government leaders, political parties, the economy, and the country in general.
PRINCETON, NJ — Amid the government shutdown, 60% of Americans say the Democratic and Republicans parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. That is the highest Gallup has measured in the 10-year history of this question. A new low of 26% believe the two major parties adequately represent Americans.
The results are consistent with Gallup’s finding of more negative opinions  of both parties since the shutdown began, including a new low favorable rating for the Republican Party, and Americans’ widespread dissatisfaction with the way the nation is being governed .
The prior highs in perceived need for a third party came in August 2010 , shortly before that year’s midterm elections, when Americans were dissatisfied with government and the Tea Party movement was emerging as a political force; and in 2007, when the newly elected Democratic congressional majority was clashing with then-President George W. Bush.