It appears, based on recent poll results, that both major political parties are losing ground with potential voters. A record number of Americans now consider themselves political independents, according to a new Gallup poll. Perhaps this will serve as a wake-up call for the leaders in both parties. Forty-two percent of Americans said they did not exclusively identify with either the Republican or Democratic Party. That’s the highest amount since Gallup began asking the question 25 years ago. Gallup officials made this observation:
Americans are increasingly declaring independence from the political parties. The rise in political independence is likely an outgrowth of Americans’ record or near-record negative views of the two major U.S. parties, of Congress, and their low level of trust in government more generally.
Twenty-five percent of those surveyed said they consider themselves Republican, also the lowest amount in 25 years. Thirty-one percent said they considered themselves Democrats. While that’s a percent that is unchanged from the last four years, it’s down from 36 percent in 2008. Republican identification reached its highest levels at 34 percent in 2004 when George W. Bush won his second term in office. Interestingly, the percentage has fallen since then with most of the decline coming during Bush’s second term. When he left office, the number of people describing themselves as Republicans fell to 28 percent.
The number of people considering themselves Democrats has also declined in recent years, dropping five points from a high of 36 percent in 2008 when President Obama was elected. It appears from the poll results that the American people are sick and tired of the partisan approach to running the affairs of government. Hopefully, our political leaders on both sides of the aisle are listening. The poll comes from more than 18,000 interviews Gallup conducted throughout the year.
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