Don’t let the Tea Party fool you. A lot of voters are skeptical of the two major political parties, but most aren’t ready for a third party yet.
Still, a plurality (43%) of Likely U.S. Voters believes that neither Democrats nor Republicans in Congress are the party of the American people, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Nearly as many see a need for a new third party.
Thirty-five percent (35%) disagree that neither party represents the American people, and another 22% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here).
But 38% think Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that an entirely new party is needed to represent the American people. Fifty percent (50%) say a new third party is not needed. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided. This marks little change from the first time Rasmussen Reports asked this question in early February.
Thirty-eight percent (38%) also think it is at least somewhat likely that a third party candidate will be elected president of the United States within the next 10 years, with 11% who say it is Very Likely. Fifty-eight percent (58%) say the election of a third party president is unlikely, but that includes just 13% who say it’s Not At All Likely.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 22-23, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Most voters not affiliated with either of the major parties (51%) think it’s fair to say that neither party in Congress is the party of the American people. Interestingly, a plurality (46%) of Republicans agree. Democrats are more inclined to disagree.
Of course, 72% of Republican voters continue to believe that GOP members of Congress have lost touch with the party base throughout the nation over the past several years. By contrast, 61% of Democratic voters think their representatives in Congress have done a good job of representing Democratic values over the past several years.
Unaffiliated voters by a 49% to 41% margin also see the need for an entirely new party to represent the American people.
As is generally the case, the Political Class and Mainstream voters don’t see eye-to-eye. Fifty-three percent (53%) of Mainstream voters believe it’s fair to say neither party in Congress is the party of the American people. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of the Political Class don’t share that assessment.
Three-out-of-four Political Class voters (74%) see no need for an entirely new party to represent the American people. Nearly half (49%) of Mainstream voters think a new third party is a good idea.
Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Likely Voters now say they are Tea Party members or have close friends or family members who are part of the small government, anti-tax movement.
Sixty-two percent (62%) of all voters think it would be better for the country if most congressional incumbents are defeated this November. Just 27% think their representative in Congress is the best possible person for the job, and only 37% think their local congressional representative deserves reelection.
Half of Likely Voters nationwide now say they’d like their vote to turn control of both the Senate and the House over to the Republican Party. This marks a noticeable turnaround from just before the midterm elections in November 2006 when 47% wanted their vote to throw control of the Senate to the Democrats.
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