Lindsey Graham says Lara Trump could win Senate seat

Majority of Republican voters support forming new third party, poll finds

More than half of the Republican respondents said they wanted Mr Trump to continue leading the party

Graig Graziosi
Monday 15 February 2021 21:48
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More than half of Republican voters think the US needs a new mainstream third party, according to a recent poll.

A recently released Gallup poll found that there has been a surge among Republican voters who think the US needs a new third party to better represent Americans' interests.

According to the poll, between 63 and 70 per cent of Republicans supported a new party. In September, only 40 per cent of Republicans shared that view.

The results appear to be a direct response to Donald Trump's defeat in the 2020 US election and the perception by his supporters that Republicans did not do enough to advance his false claims that his loss was the result of massive voter fraud.

Reuters reported that more than 120 Republicans met virtually last week to discuss the potential formation of a centre-right third party to counter Mr Trump's far-right wing political movement in the US. However, several prominent Republicans, including Rep Liz Cheney, told the outlet that such a move would be untenable following the discussion.

At the same time, Trump voters from several Republican states are breaking off and forming "Patriot parties" to reflect their loyalty to the former president above all else.

In addition to wanting a new party, 68 per cent of Republicans said they would prefer Mr Trump to continue leading the party, and most wanted the Republican party to become more conservative.

Republican breakaway parties have been tried in the past; the Tea Party Republicans began as an insurgent group challenging traditional Republican values in an effort to push the party further to the right.

The group never became a viable third party, but was instead absorbed into the larger Republican party, resulting in conservative elected officials who were much more focused on culture war issues as opposed to traditional Republican conservative policy goals.

The Gallup poll found that Republicans were not the only ones who supported a new third party; only 33 per cent of respondents, regardless of party, said they believed the Democrat and Republican parties adequately represented the concerns of voters.

Compared to a similar question Gallup asked in September, there has been a five per cent increase in support for a third party among respondents, up to 62 per cent.

Independents overwhelmingly favour the formation of a new third party, with 70 per cent saying they would support an alternative to the current two-party system.

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