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Most Americans want a third party. The agreement stops there

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

A record 68% of Americans say that a third party is needed because they think the two major parties aren't representative of the country, according to a new Voter Study Group survey.

Why it matters: People can't agree on what they'd want the third party to look like, and most partisans (81% of Democrats and 75% of Republicans) feel well-represented by their party.

Between the lines: Of the people who want a third party, one-fifth want a party that's more liberal than the Democratic Party; one-fifth want it to be more conservative than the Republican Party; and one-third want it to be in the center.

  • "It would take at least five parties to capture the ideological aspirations of Americans," per the Voter Study Group report.
  • Among partisans, 68% of Democrats and 71% of Republicans have negative feelings about the other party — even those who have some issues with their own party.

The bottom line: It's clear that many people are unhappy with the two major parties. But as of now, that unhappiness doesn't quite equal enough support (and a consistent vision) for a third-party alternative.

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