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Americans split on major third party

Sept. 12, 2012 at 10:06 AM

PRINCETON, N.J., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. voters are divided over whether a major third political party is needed, results of a Gallup poll released Wednesday indicated.

Forty-six percent of adults indicated a third major political party was needed, while 45 percent said they thought the Republican and Democratic parties adequately represent the American people, results indicted.

Americans with the weakest ties to either major party -- independents -- are more likely to favor a major third party, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said. The latest poll indicated 58 percent of independents supported a major third political party.

Forty percent of Democrats said they support the idea of a third party, while 36 percent of Republicans said they support the concept.

Supporting the concept doesn't translate to support for 2012 third-party presidential candidates, Gallup said.

Gallup said 1 percent indicated support for three third-party candidates identified by name and party -- Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, Jill Stein of the Green Party and Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party. Gallup said another 1 percent offered another third-party candidate's name.

Results are based on nationwide telephone interviews conducted Thursday through Sunday with 1,017 adults. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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