More Americans than ever say U.S. needs a third party

So, who do you support: Republicans or Democrats?

With the government shutdown now going on two weeks and the debt ceiling deadline looming ever closer, a survey from Gallup finds that most U.S. voters want a third choice.

The Gallup survey showed that about 60 percent of Americans think a third party is needed, while only 26 percent think the two parties do an adequate job representing the nation. Both of those numbers are the most extreme since Gallup began asking the questions:



And the need for a third party seems to be one thing that Republican and Democratic voters can actually agree on. The Gallup survey found nearly equal support in each of the two factions:



Connecticut has a history of candidates who’ve run without the (R) or (D) label.

Perhaps the most well-known figure in that category is former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who formed his own party (Connecticut for Lieberman) to get around his defeat in the 2006 Democratic U.S. Senate primary. He caucused with Senate Democrats, but was known for taking positions that at times put him at opposition with either party.

Former Gov. Lowell Weicker ran on the ticket of “A Connecticut Party” for his 1990 gubernatorial campaign. He won and served a single term but his lieutenant governor,  Eunice Groark, lost with that same label four years later.

Connecticut does have a few local office holders from established third parties. Joshua Katz, a member of the Zoning Board Of Appeals in Westbrook, is a libertarian. The Green Party has Daphne Dixon as an alternate on the Zoning Board of Appeals in Fairfield and Leif Smith as a constable in Redding.

But all of the state’s current state legislators, statewide elected officials and members of Congress all hail from either the Democratic or Republican parties.

Wes Duplantier