The Generic Third Party or Independent Candidate: More Popular than Congress

Though ideologues of the duopoly parties and their spokesmouths in the mainstream media like to portray the two-party system as the absolute horizon of the American political universe, the hold of Democratic-Republican Party ideology over the minds of many voters is in reality quite tenuous. Even modestly strong campaigns by third party and independent candidates for office have the potential to disrupt set patterns of thought and provoke contemplation of scenarios that would otherwise have been considered fantastical or impossible. Chris Daggett's independent campaign for governor in New Jersey and Doug Hoffman's third party candidacy for congress in NY's 23rd are a case in point. They have raised the profile of the "generic" third party or independent candidate, who is polling quite well. Public Policy Polling recently took the radical step of offering poll respondents three choices on the so-called generic ballot and were surprised by the results:
We asked two forms of the generic Congressional ballot question on our national poll this week- one was the standard Democrat/Republican choice and the other was a Democrat/Republican/Independent or Third Party choice.

Reflecting the disgust many voters are feeling with both parties right now, 22% of respondents said they would choose an independent or third party candidate. Predictably 45% of independent identifying voters said they would but so did 19% of Republicans and 10% of Democrats.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to track down any more specific numbers from this survey, for instance, how the 22% support for the generic third party candidate compared with support for the generic Democrat and Republican. The fact that generic third party and independent candidates are not routinely placed in such polls is a result of nothing more than duopolist bias.

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