Poll: Majority Support for Third Party Alternatives

At Forbes, John Zogby reflects on some recent polling data indicating high levels of discontent with the reigning two-party system and wide support for viable third parties:
In a July Zogby Interactive survey of more than 40,000 U.S. adults . . . even slight majorities of both Democrats and Republicans want another party. Not surprisingly, 73% of Independents agree . . . Fifty-eight percent of both liberals and conservatives want a third party, leading me to conclude that most liberals don't believe the Democratic Party is liberal enough, and most conservatives don't believe the Republican Party is conservative enough. Then there are the 61% of moderates who apparently believe that neither party is moderate enough.


NJ Centrist said...

While I haven't conducted a poll, most of the people I have talked to would like to have a centrist third-party. However when voting, they still fall victim to the two-party binary fallacy. "I like the candidate, but he can't win," they will say. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Voting is an expression of will and preference; it is not picking a winner in a horse race. They don't understand they if they want a third party, they need to help make it happen.

As Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see."

Liberal Arts Dude said...

Totally agree with you on that point. I'd also like to add that minor parties and independents have to do a better job selling themselves as viable alternatives to the major party candidates. It's one thing to vote outside of the two-party camp as a voter. It's quite another to be presented with an array of quality candidates to choose from. Minor party candidates can't just run on being minor party as their main selling point.

d.eris said...

Exactly. A candidate is only viable if people perceive him or her as viable. Declaring one's independence from the two-party system is the first important step toward breaking with the duopoly system. The next is actively supporting candidates for office who are not beholden to the Democratic-Republican machine. One of the primary functions of duopoly ideology is to create the illusion that only Republicans or Democrats are "viable" candidates for office. This appearance will be shattered only once people cease to support Republicans and Democrats and make a positive choice for real change by actively supporting third party and independent campaigns.