According to the latest Gallup opinion polls, people who identify themselves as Independent are continuing to increase in numbers in the US. This latest poll shows that in 2013 an average of 42% of people identify as Independent while those who identify as Democratic or Republican have fallen to 31% and 25%, respectively.
This growth in Independent identification has come at the expense of the Republican Party.
Americans’ increasing shift to independent status has come more at the expense of the Republican Party than the Democratic Party. Republican identification peaked at 34% in 2004, the year George W. Bush won a second term in office. Since then, it has fallen nine percentage points, with most of that decline coming during Bush’s troubled second term. When he left office, Republican identification was down to 28%. It has declined or stagnated since then, improving only slightly to 29% in 2010, the year Republicans “shellacked” Democrats in the midterm elections.
The numbers get more interesting when you look at the quarterly breakdown of the 2013 year. When viewed that way, you see an even stronger surge of Independents at the end of the year compared to Democrats and Republicans (46%, 29%, and 22%, respectively).
The percentage of Americans identifying as independents grew over the course of 2013, surging to 46% in the fourth quarter. That coincided with the partial government shutdown in October and the problematic rollout of major provisions of the healthcare law, commonly known as “Obamacare.”
The 46% independent identification in the fourth quarter is a full three percentage points higher than Gallup has measured in any quarter during its telephone polling era.
Personally, I would love to see a similar poll of Oklahomans. While Oklahoma’s Independent registrations have grown over the years, we don’t have registrations that reflect this opinion poll.
With all the issues of the Federal Government, budget battles, government shut downs, the debt ceiling, etc, and those issues’ roots in the two duopoly parties, it is becoming clearer to more and more Americans that things will not change without serious challenges from a third option. In a recent Gallup Poll, 60% of Americans polled feel that the duopoly candidates are not doing a good job and that we need a new party to rise up and challenge them.
What is really surprising about this poll, however, is the non-partisan nature of the results. While it won’t surprise many of us to know that 71% of Independent voters desire an alternative party, it might surprise some to learn that 52% of Republicans and 49% of Democrats feel the same. As Gallup puts it:
Republicans (52%) and Democrats (49%) are similar in their perceptions that a third party is needed. In fact, this marks the first time that a majority of either party’s supporters have said a third party is needed. Continue reading
It was only last month that we highlighted a Gallup poll which showed that only 10% of the US population are pleased with Congress. In that article, we lamented the fact that despite a history of low voter approval, Congresspersons often enjoy a 90+% reelection rate. But that disapproval rate is not the only thing working against Congress at this point.
A new Gallup poll shows that a record low number of US citizens believe the Founding Fathers would be displeased with the state of the US today. Only 27% of people polled believe that the Founding Fathers would approve of how the US is operating today. This is down significantly from the 2001 high of 54%.
With all the controversies in D.C. going on, is it really surprising to find out that Congress’s approval rating is at an all time low? According to a new Gallup poll, that rating has fallen to a mere 10%. That rank places it last among 16 institutions that Gallup listed. People have lower confidence in Congress than they do banks, the criminal justice system and the police. Even HMOs rank higher than Congress.
The percentage of Americans expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress is the lowest for a trend that dates back to 1973. The high point for Congress, 42%, came in that year.
Confidence in Congress has been at its lowest points for several years, while it was higher in the mid-1980s and in the early 2000s.
And this rating shows across all political ideologies. Continue reading