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Majority of Americans believe third political party needed: Poll

By Ians

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Washington, Sep 25: A majority of US adults, 58 percent, say a third US political party is needed because the Republican and Democratic parties "do such a poor job" representing the American people, a Gallup poll has found.

According to the poll released Wednesday, a majority since 2007 has typically called for a third party, Xinhua reported.

The poll comes around six weeks before the mid-term Congressional elections and at a time when most Americans hold a dim view of both parties in Congress, with only about four in 10 viewing each party positively.

Americans' views towards the two major parties have been tepid for much of the past decade.

To the question, "In your view, do the Republicans and the Democratic parties do an adequate job of representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed?"

Fifty-eight percent voted in the affirmative while 35 percent felt that the Republicans and the Democrats are doing an adequate job. Seven percent had no opinion.

However, even when the parties' images were more positive in the past, including majority favourability for the Democrats throughout 2007 and favourability for the Republicans approaching 50 percent in 2011, Americans still saw the need for a third party, Gallup found.

The first time a Gallup poll asked whether a third party was needed was in 2003 when a majority of Americans believed the two major parties were adequately representing the US public. It was the only time this has been the case.

Since 2007, a majority has said a third party was needed, with two exceptions occurring in the fall of the 2008 and 2012 presidential election years, according to Gallup.

A historic 60 percent high favouring a third party came in a poll conducted during the partial federal government shutdown last October. At that time, only 26 percent of Americans said the parties were doing an adequate job. That figure is up to 35 percent now, but with little change in the percentage calling for a third party.


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