Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, speaks during a press conference after being ousted as Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Tuesday, October 3, 2023. McCarthy was removed by a motion to vacate, an effort led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-FL, and a handful of conservative members of his own party. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A majority of Americans, 63%, support the establishment of a third major political party, according to a Gallup Poll conducted ahead of the ousting of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy by far-right Republicans.
"However, the current measure is not meaningfully different from the prior highs of 61% in 2017 and 62% in 2021, shortly after the January 2021 Capitol Hill riots," Jeffrey Jones, a senior editor for Gallup, wrote in an analysis of the poll results.
Jones noted in the analysis that 58% of Republicans support a third party, up from 45% a year ago and only the second time in the poll's history that a majority from the GOP endorsed the idea.
The only other time more Republicans expressed support for a third party was after the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. A record-low 22% of Republicans supported a third party when the poll began.
Democrats have had much less deviance in their responses over the years, with a low of 33% supporting a third party in April 2011 and a high of 54% of Democrats in September 2018. The latest poll shows just 46% of Democrats currently support the establishment of a major third party.
"Republicans' support for a third party tends to vary based on whether a Republican or Democratic president is in office," Jones wrote. "In contrast, independents' and Democrats' views of a third party have been similar under both types of presidential administrations."
An organization called No Labels that bills itself as the "commonsense majority" has been laying the groundwork for a centrist party candidate with a program it calls "Insurance Policy 2024."
Its stances hit on both Republican and Democratic policies such as preventing migrants from illegally entering the country to recognizing the United States is a nation of migrants and creating plans to attract more legal migrants.
"We are preparing for the possibility of nominating a candidate. We have not yet committed to do so," the organization said of preparations for the 2024 presidential election. "We will run ONLY under the proper environmental conditions, which must be met for us to proceed."
The establishment of a third major party could fundamentally change U.S. politics, especially in situations such as McCarthy's removal as the top Republican in government and in avoiding government shutdowns.
For example, if a third party of far-right Republicans formed, moderate Republicans possibly could feel more inclined to vote with Democrats on measures they agree with, such as ensuring the government remains funded, and Democrats might be more willing to make concessions across the aisle, too.
"It is unclear to what extent Americans actually desire a third party, as opposed to just expressing their frustration with the two parties that contest elections and govern in the U.S. two-party system," Jones added.
He noted that polls show both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden are unpopular with many U.S. adults.