Poll Shows American Voters Clamoring for a Third-Party Option

Two-thirds of voters say economic fears mean less dining out, driving

Sixty percent of voters say the nation’s two major political parties are doing a poor job representing their views, and believe a third political party or multiple political parties are necessary in the US. Just 25% said that the two major parties were adequate, according to a new Suffolk University/USA TODAY national poll of registered voters.  

With 100 days to the midterm elections, voters from both ends of the political spectrum indicated support for more political choices, along with the growing number of independents in the US and young voters. 

Among independents, 69% would like to see more than two options on the ballot, and a whopping 79% of younger voters ages 18-35 years want to see a third party or multiple parties. Even among 2024 likely Donald Trump voters, 49% said they would like to see a third party and 66% of 2024 Biden voters also want more political options.

“Americans are practically screaming for an independent presidential candidate, or at least anyone who isn’t a Democrat or Republican,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “Unlike many other issues in our nation, support for more parties isn’t one-sided.”

Economic concerns dominate voters’ minds

Despite no official statistical indication that the US was in a recession when the question was posed, 66% of registered voters say they believe the US is in either a recession or depression, a public perception that has deepened significantly in recent months as the economy has contracted and inflation has risen. Voters’ dreary economic outlook is influencing their spending in a few ways. More than 58%  say they are eating out less, 48% are driving less, and 45% say they are cutting back spending on groceries and postponing or canceling vacations/travel. Among those voters in the country with household incomes below $50,000 per year, 70% are eating out less, and 60% are cutting back on groceries and driving less.

“For these respondents a recession is not perception, it is reality,” Paleologos said. “Lower income households have been hit especially hard by being forced to make critical allocation choices for every dollar at their disposal.”

Voters maintain strong support for some abortion rights

When it comes to the most important issue in the upcoming congressional elections, the economy/inflation was offered by 31%, followed by abortion at 16%. All other issues were in the mid-single digits or lower. Voters across the nation continued to register strong support for abortion rights threatened by the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, with 87% of voters of all political parties supporting legal abortion to save the health or life of the pregnant person, and 83% of voters supporting abortion in cases of rape or incest. 


The nationwide Suffolk University/USA Today survey was conducted through live interviews of cell phone and land line users. The survey of 1,000 voters was conducted July 22-25, 2022. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, [email protected].


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