Gallup: For first time, majority of Republicans support third party

posted at 5:09 pm on May 9, 2011 by Allahpundit

Imagine what the numbers will be after the inevitable GOP cave on the debt ceiling.

This is the first time Gallup finds a significantly higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats in favor of a third party. During much of President Bush’s term, the opposite was true, with Democrats more likely to favor the formation of a third party. That gap narrowed in 2007, after the Democrats’ victories in the 2006 midterms, and there has been a minimal difference between the two parties until the current poll.

The increase in Republican support for a third party since 2008 could be an outgrowth of the Tea Party movement, which is closely aligned with the GOP. The poll, which also assessed Americans’ orientation toward the movement, finds 60% of those who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters in favor of a third party, compared with 44% of Tea Party opponents. The opinions of those who say they are neither supporters nor opponents fall in between those of the two groups.

The partisan trend lines are dramatic, especially the GOP’s, but curiously — and despite heavy tea party support for a third party — there’s no corresponding split in ideology. Liberals, moderates, and conservatives are all at either 51 or 52 percent, and support for a third party has declined among all three groups since last year. What gives?

My assumption is that partisan support for a third party should spike when a party is out of power and has nothing to lose by splitting (or flirting with splitting) over ideology. That’s what you’re seeing, I think, in the Democratic trend line from 2003 to 2006: Anti-war liberals were frustrated that their leadership hadn’t done more to check Bush and to convince the public that progressivism is the truth, the light, and the way, so they fantasized about going rogue. Once Democrats took back Congress, they put that aside and focused on influencing the new congressional majority. And indeed, you see a dip from 2006 to 2008, when Pelosi took over and everyone rallied behind their party’s nominee in a presidential election year. Conversely, partisan support for a third party should crater when a party is in power and looking to hold together to preserve its legislative majority — or so I would have guessed. But neither the Democratic nor the Republican trend line follows that prediction. From 2008 to 2010, despite total control of government, Democrats’ support for a third party rose seven points. Republican support for a third party also rose by seven points when they had total control of government from 2003 to 2006; my hunch is that’s because conservatives rallied around Bush after 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, which artificially depressed third-party support at the beginning of the decade. But check out the numbers from 2010 to 2011, after the great tea party tidal wave: An increase of five points, notwithstanding the fact that Boehner and company now have de facto veto power over the Democratic agenda.

The takeaway here, I assume, is that neither party’s base trusts its leadership much anymore. Republicans are probably irritated at the slow pace of spending cuts after the big GOP victory, especially after Boehner had to come down from his $100 billion pledge in reaching a deal with Obama and Reid. Democrats, meanwhile, were disappointed in Obama’s first two years in office, maybe because of the economy’s sluggishness (the stimulus wasn’t big enough!), maybe because he’s basically been Bush 44 on most counterterrorism matters, or maybe because ObamaCare isn’t quite the single-payer socialist system (yet) that they’ve dreamed about. Granted, their support for a third party cratered after the GOP’s victory in November, but I take it that’s less because of newfound satisfaction with O than from abject terror that the country’s turned against their agenda and therefore they can’t afford to dilute their strength at a precarious moment. And yet, and yet, I can’t reconcile any of that with the stasis in the numbers by ideology. Shouldn’t conservative support for a third party be leaping from disappointment with the House on budgetary matters? In fact, it’s actually dropped slightly since last year. Any theories?


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Third Party = Second Obama term.

MikeknaJ on May 9, 2011 at 7:24 PM

It this (very bad news) is true, I can only conclude that the majority of Republicans are now allowing emotion to trump reason.

Buy Danish on May 9, 2011 at 7:10 PM

No, we’ve finally learned our lessons. The establishment Republicans see them in charge as winning. They get chairmanships, great perks, people want to throw money at them and get their opinions, it’s a great time.

But, we’ve learned that having a rino infested Republican Party in charge isn’t winning at all, it’s just losing again with different guys in charge.

We want the country to win, if Republicans are incapable of getting the job done, we’ll move on, and we now have somewhere to go, the Tea Party.

RJL on May 9, 2011 at 7:25 PM

United, we Conservatives, will once again throw our votes away on candidates who do not represent our core beliefs.

We could just stay home or not vote the top of the ticket.

But then we will be told, “Okay, thanks for helping give Obama 4 more years and we’ll say, “Okay, thanks to you too for pushing radical social agendas we couldn’t support.”

You’re Social Conservatives too, “Moderates”. Your agenda is just different.

hawkdriver on May 9, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Third Party = Second Obama term.

MikeknaJ on May 9, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Oh, for sure. Just like the moderate Republicans and liberal MSM pushing McCain gave us the first four.

hawkdriver on May 9, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Third Party = Second Obama term.

MikeknaJ on May 9, 2011 at 7:24 PM

So what?

S.S.D.D. or in this case different party.

sharrukin on May 9, 2011 at 7:29 PM

I thought the msm proclaimed the tea party as dead and totally irrelevant? hmmmm. Don’t really want to see this happen going against the Won. We can’t stand another 4 years of his policies.

Kissmygrits on May 9, 2011 at 7:34 PM

hawkdriver on May 9, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Exactly right. The bottom line is that if a squishy Republican is chosen there will be a 3rd party. And since the sqishy Republican worked out so well last time, what difference will it make.
One more thing, at the rate BO is going he is going to be loathed by all but his unshakable fans. I know the squishy Republican crowd thinks that means a slam dunk for them but there are some pretty po’d people out there who still feel railroaded in 08. They won’t vote for a squish. If this happens the 3rd party may as well be the Republicans.

ORconservative on May 9, 2011 at 7:43 PM

hawkdriver on May 9, 2011 at 7:26 PM

+1

cmsinaz on May 9, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Third Party = Second Obama term.

MikeknaJ on May 9, 2011 at 7:24 PM

First – nominate someone who the base likes – and you won’t have to worry about it. But if independents are your primary goal – then you’ll see a third party or see conservatives sit home or …

Or, you’ll see them vote Obama – like I would if the GOP nominates a losing establishment candidate and there is no strong third party.

Obama? Hells ya!

Why?

Because – this nation is so far gone – only a third party – or a rejuvenated GOP can save it. If we’re going to get the same old – same old – tired white establishment guy, dug into the cocktail parties and the special interests – then we’re better off with Obama … why?

Because when the nation goes under – Conservatism won’t be blamed. Mitch Daniels and Mittens Romney aren’t Conservatives – but they say they are. And this fact alone will cause Conservatism to sink into the abyss after these guys compromise on spending and tax cuts with the Dimmocrits.

We need to fix the GOP – not “enable” their Ruling Class elites – the same ones who’ve promised smaller government for 50 years – lying all the while – NEVER delivering on those promises.

So if you want indies to vote for the GOP – g’head – but you won’t have mine in the general and … I’ll be voting for Hope and Change!

HondaV65 on May 9, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Do any of your remember how well it worked out with Ross Perot in 1992 . . . or how about Angle or Miller or O’Donnell (Tea Party candidates under GOP banner). They lost.

We either want candidates who will win or just give up and give the entire government back to the Dems/liberals.

Voter from WA State on May 9, 2011 at 7:53 PM

You wouldn’t have had Ross Perot if you didn’t have “Read My Lips” first.

You can’t blame Perot for killing Bush’s reelection. If Bush had been an inspiring candidate – Perot would never have been a factor.

And besides – Clinton was the first President to actually give us a budget surplus in my lifetime. Yeah sure – he had a GOP congress – and so did George Bush – and we know how much money he spent.

So … Bush deserved to lose – and I’m not sure any other “alternate” history would have been that beneficial for the nation.

HondaV65 on May 9, 2011 at 7:56 PM

We either want candidates who will win or just give up and give the entire government back to the Dems/liberals.

Voter from WA State on May 9, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Lets them have it!

When there is a difference between the Republicans and the Democrats then there will be a choice to make. Until then why should anyone care which party is voting to increase the debt ceiling?

sharrukin on May 9, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Lets them have it!

When there is a difference between the Republicans and the Democrats then there will be a choice to make. Until then why should anyone care which party is voting to increase the debt ceiling?

sharrukin on May 9, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Exactly – we’ve gone beyond the point of “Vote for the lesser of two evils”.

The fact is, there is so little difference at the moment that those differences won’t matter when it comes to the fiscal solvency of this nation. “The Lesser” was a good philosophy in 2000 – when we had budget surpluses and before the Bush / Obama spending sprees – but at this point – the only thing these two broken parties are capable of is piloting this plane to the scene of the crash – neither can keep it in the air.

And – who is in the pilot’s seat when it crashes – MATTERS – because that guy will get the blame – that guy’s party will get the blame – and his political philosophy will get the blame.

I’m perfectly happy letting that “pilot” be Obama – he’ll crash it quick – and hard – and we can all say Socialism failed and move on to the next democratic experiment.

Put a “faux” Conservative in office and you’ll get NO Conservative principles – you’ll get a Socialist crash with CONSERVATISM being blamed for it.

Hopefully – it doesn’t come to that – hopefully the Ruling Class stands down and realizes the next nominee needs to come from the “great unwashed” – and we can ALL get behind that Conservative and run the board in 2012.

I’m not optimistic about that though.

HondaV65 on May 9, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Maybe there needs to be a Conservative party. Moderates though would “infiltrate” it since they’d never win otherwise. The husk of GOP left would be about as big as the Libertarian party.

pseudoforce on May 9, 2011 at 5:48 PM

What happens then? Fourth Party?

Third party supporters are like a homeowner that lets the house get really messy, and instead of cleaning it up walks away and buys a new one. (Doing Spring cleaning this week.)

slickwillie2001 on May 9, 2011 at 8:14 PM

I’m perfectly happy letting that “pilot” be Obama – he’ll crash it quick – and hard – and we can all say Socialism failed and move on to the next democratic experiment.

Put a “faux” Conservative in office and you’ll get NO Conservative principles – you’ll get a Socialist crash with CONSERVATISM being blamed for it.

In many ways it parallels what happened with the great depression.

Hoover was what we would call a RINO (compassionate conservative)…

A self-described progressive and reformer, Hoover saw the presidency as a vehicle for improving the conditions of all Americans by encouraging public-private cooperation—what he termed “volunterism”.

Long before he had entered politics, he had denounced laissez-faire thinking.

Hopefully – it doesn’t come to that – hopefully the Ruling Class stands down and realizes the next nominee needs to come from the “great unwashed” – and we can ALL get behind that Conservative and run the board in 2012.

I’m not optimistic about that though.

HondaV65 on May 9, 2011 at 8:13 PM

I share that pessimism. I don’t think the GOP gets it, nor do they want to get it. They are on the same team that the Democrats are playing.

sharrukin on May 9, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Republicans are probably irritated at the slow pace of spending cuts after the big GOP victory

What spending cuts?

HalJordan on May 9, 2011 at 8:23 PM

What spending cuts?

HalJordan on May 9, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Obama dreamed about spending another $Trillion in his budget and since it hasn’t come to fruition, that’s a Republican spending cut.

Sad, but true.

RJL on May 9, 2011 at 8:32 PM

After the Allen West fiasco, I’ve about given up on the Republican thing. Im 42 and never in my life have I voted any other way but after being crushed by West, I’m about finished with them.

Big Orange on May 9, 2011 at 8:44 PM

For God’s sake. Nothing resembling rocket science or earth-shattering news here. Members of the party that lost the White House in the last election are P. O.’d at their party for losing. So what?

n0doz on May 9, 2011 at 8:46 PM

It’s sad really. The GOP is going to give us a second term for Obama. I don’t think the Tea Party is yet strong enough to get it done this time, so if a
“majority” of republicans now support a third party, then the reality is that the Republicans are split which WILL give the Dems another term.

The West deal was a real heartbreak and I guess it goes to show how quickly the establishment can get to the newbies. I expected more from a military man.

J.

JohnnyMojo on May 9, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Lets them have it!

When there is a difference between the Republicans and the Democrats then there will be a choice to make. Until then why should anyone care which party is voting to increase the debt ceiling?

sharrukin on May 9, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Bingo!! Glad we can agree on something after our disagreement on the Allen West thread. :-)

TheRightMan on May 9, 2011 at 10:18 PM

I do not support third parties as the way to go but would rather encourage conservatives to organize and take over the GOP. A few more victories like 2010 and the GOP will be a true conservative party.

TheRightMan on May 9, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Bingo!! Glad we can agree on something after our disagreement on the Allen West thread. :-)

TheRightMan on May 9, 2011 at 10:18 PM

I think I am just more cynical than you from hearing all talk and no actions. Maybe West will pan out but I have heard all the empty rhetoric I care to.

sharrukin on May 9, 2011 at 10:22 PM

A few more victories like 2010 and the GOP will be a true conservative party.

TheRightMan on May 9, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Victory? A $100 billion promise and the $0.35 billion dollar delivery doesn’t sound like much of a victory to me?
We can’t afford victories like that.

sharrukin on May 9, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Voter from WA State on May 9, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Perot =/= Miller or Angle…

Gohawgs on May 9, 2011 at 10:29 PM

McCain was supposed to be a “moderate” when he ran in ’08. How come baby Buckley, Noonan, Colin Powell, et al voted FOR the obamanation. Shouldn’t our republican “thought leaders” vote republican???

Gohawgs on May 9, 2011 at 10:32 PM

MikeknaJ on May 9, 2011 at 7:24 PM

But the idealogues will have their bitter victory – Obama in for a second term, good chance to see SCOTUS move 6-3 with liberal majority, and lots of wonderful executive orders and regulations that stifle growth.
“By Gawd we showed them Rinos we mean business didn’t we verne?” “Yep Zeb we shonuf did.”

Bradky on May 9, 2011 at 11:11 PM

“By Gawd we showed them Rinos we mean business didn’t we verne?” “Yep Zeb we shonuf did.”

Bradky on May 9, 2011 at 11:11 PM

dude…

equanimous on May 9, 2011 at 11:17 PM

The interesting datum isn’t the breathless-headline “Majority of GOP supports 3rd Party – Oh noes!” but rather the fact that over 2/3rds of independents still do. And that’s after a drop from nearly 3/4ths as recently as last year. This suggests that a third-party candidate may not necessarily guarantee a second term for Team iWon.

The key, however, is going to be keeping control of the House (and its power of the purse-strings), and gaining the Senate (and either approval of Team iWon’s appointees, or if this story is to be believed, then the ability to repeal efforts by the Executive to end-run both the Legislative, as well as the Constitution.)

Blacksmith on May 10, 2011 at 12:01 AM

After the Allen West fiasco, I’ve about given up on the Republican thing. Im 42 and never in my life have I voted any other way but after being crushed by West, I’m about finished with them.

Big Orange on May 9, 2011 at 8:44 PM

You deserve to be crushed, you’re an empty can of nothin’.

So you’re giving up on Colonel West because he won’t waste time voting on Boehner’s bullshit Dog & Pony Show? What a chump.

If we start a third Party I hope they don’t let nitwits like you in!

rcl on May 10, 2011 at 12:26 AM

So you’re giving up on Colonel West because he won’t waste time voting on Boehner’s bullshit Dog & Pony Show? What a chump.

If we start a third Party I hope they don’t let nitwits like you in!

rcl on May 10, 2011 at 12:26 AM

You should have been on the Allen West thread – the concern trolls were out in force trying to crucify Col. West for simply refusing to play the spineless GOP leaders’ game.

TheRightMan on May 10, 2011 at 1:31 AM

IRV

Ortzinator on May 10, 2011 at 3:18 AM

Bad idea. A third party will be another Ross Perot vacation from reality. Without Perot, neither Clinton term would have occurred.

flataffect on May 10, 2011 at 3:19 AM

We want the country to win, if Republicans are incapable of getting the job done, we’ll move on, and we now have somewhere to go, the Tea Party.

RJL on May 9, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Well said…

Fartnokker on May 10, 2011 at 6:46 AM

I blame it on RINOs. Those Republicans that have compromised their principles for the sake of attracting more votes; or those already elected that have passed a bill that contains RINO material in it.

Can’t be with God and with the devil. I mean you you think I want priests/ministers performing gay marriages? You know how much pressure that puts our religious men on? If that priest/minister denies on the merits of faith, will that make that religious an outcast–within the military and within their own?

There’s so much richness in this piece every two sentences I have something to write about. Good job Allahpundit.

ProudPalinFan on May 10, 2011 at 7:23 AM

I hate when the label Independent is left as a stand alone. There really needs to be two subdivisions. Independent Leans Conservative and Independent Leans Liberal.

Liberals never really have been keen on being independents, by their very nature they are Dependents. Sure they’ll throw a bone at an occasional Green Party candidate but at the end of the day they stay on the plantation.

As for the rise among Republicans of support for a third party it is simply because there is still a sense of betrayal from Republicans. Over the last decade they have become our parents version of the Democrats and a course correction is needed. Unfortunately when you start talking about Republicans returning to a more conservative stance all of a sudden that is taken as a green light to once again promote social issues instead of the issues most conservatives, at least the ones I know, want attention paid to. Those issues are National Security, Smaller Government, and Fiscal discipline.

Republicans on the national stage always seem to think a return to conservative principles automatically means abortion and school prayer. While they are hot button issues they are not things that are going to impact my day to day life as much as gas prices and feeding my family. When we are putting groceries in the fuel tank, choking off food and oil production all in the name of environmentalism and spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave, apologies to drunken sailors, then yeah, there is going to be a call for a third party.

Preferably one with adults in control.

Just A Grunt on May 10, 2011 at 8:01 AM

The republicans are the THIRD party. Their blend of cowardice and incompetence as exhibited by the establishment GOP is inacceptable and needs to be replaced. When the Reagan democrats and the Tea Party come together, the GOP will stop being a viable chouice for conservatives. The labels of democrats and republicans are being changed to liberals (socialists) and conservatives (free enterprise capitalists). Even politics evolve.

volsense on May 10, 2011 at 8:23 AM

But the idealogues will have their bitter victory – Obama in for a second term, good chance to see SCOTUS move 6-3 with liberal majority, and lots of wonderful executive orders and regulations that stifle growth.
“By Gawd we showed them Rinos we mean business didn’t we verne?” “Yep Zeb we shonuf did.”

Bradky on May 9, 2011 at 11:11 PM

The GOP offers up crap that’s indistinguishable most of the time from the Democrats, and Bradky blames “ideologues” like “Verne” and “Zeb”. Take a look in the mirror, Bradky.

pseudoforce on May 10, 2011 at 8:26 AM

But the idealogues will have their bitter victory – Obama in for a second term…

Bradky on May 9, 2011 at 11:11 PM

As if the establishment types whose ass you’re intent on licking would mind that very much.

pseudoforce on May 10, 2011 at 8:27 AM

The House republicans seem to miss the point of the last election. It was to fix the issue of out of control federal spending and the overall economy and jobs. For some reason the house republicans think they were elected to continue their political agenda. Boehner is going to be a one term speaker if he keeps this going. The people are going to replace him and those who support him. We want the issues dealt with not the political agenda.

kanda on May 10, 2011 at 8:40 AM

What’s this third party stuff?

We simply need a second party to oppose the Democrats and their slightly conservative wing, the establishment Republicans like Boehner.

Over50 on May 10, 2011 at 9:03 AM

It’s sad really. The GOP is going to give us a second term for Obama.

JohnnyMojo on May 9, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Republics and Democrats = same party, different name. They are the same party, folks. They are the ruling class. They are addicted to tax payments of the American people. They will not give up their power. They have not reduced the size of government since WW1.

They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled. They are the same and we remain fooled.

j_galt on May 10, 2011 at 9:08 AM

I say vote your conscience. If you don’t agree with the repub candidate, but you do agree with someone else, vote for the someone else. As for me, I won’t vote for a democrat light any more. This narative of “third party just guarantees a democrat win” is sinking our country.

samuelrylander on May 10, 2011 at 10:21 AM

I hope the RINOs see the writing on the wall, but I expect they won’t.

Still, even the dim bulb Olympia Snowe seems to be getting it.

dogsoldier on May 10, 2011 at 10:43 AM

The question is, will the RINOs leave the GOP, or will the conservatives leave?

If it’s the former, I think the GOP could recover from it, because their stances on issues would be a lot clearer.

No matter what, though, I’m hoping that no split takes place until after the election.

hawksruleva on May 10, 2011 at 11:26 AM

http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2011/05/06/a-short-pithy-note-on-marxists-and-democrats/

Bradky on May 10, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Yeah, that’s just about as much a case of mislabeling as calling Bachmann or Palin or tea partiers “extreme right wing”. Say Bradky, do you ever find anything wrong with Democrat policies and attitudes, and do they cause you the same visceral disgust?

pseudoforce on May 10, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Marxists are Marxists. The Democrats are a political party. Marxism is a political philosophy. They resemble each other like an apple resembles an 800 pound gorilla.

That’s not necessarily true, by the way. There are varying degrees of Marxist influence. The Democrats’ bread and butter is “class struggle” and economic determinism to a large degree. After all, you could say that Lenin, Mao, Stalin and Castro were likewise incompatible with “pure Marxism” (whatever that would mean), but I don’t think you could deny they were influenced by his essential propositions.

pseudoforce on May 10, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Took years to get to this point, and it won’t get fixed overnight, or in one or two election cycles.

If we care enough, we take over the GOP, and turn it the way it needs to go. It will take patience and hard work. If we don’t care enough, we keep looking for somebody else to save us, for some hero figure to be disappointed in, for somebody to blame.

I feel 4 more years of Øbama would be so disastrous that I’ll vote for the GOP nominee whether or not I think s/he is the perfect conservative. Then keep after the GOP to move toward better policies and candidates.

jodetoad on May 10, 2011 at 2:48 PM

The GOP itself came to be when the Whigs wouldn’t deal with the problems of the day, and the Democrats were trying to make them worse.

If the GOP won’t deal with the problems we’re facing, and the Dems just want to make it worse, I say let the GOP go the way of the Whigs.

Voyager on May 11, 2011 at 12:26 AM

Epic Leadership Failure.

Tim_CA on May 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Bad idea. A third party will be another Ross Perot vacation from reality. Without Perot, neither Clinton term would have occurred.

flataffect on May 10, 2011 at 3:19 AM

People keep bringing up this false idea over and over. It’s become an urban legend in its own right.

Exit polling showed that Perot pulled EQUALLY from Bush I and Clinton… of the polled Perot voters who would not have stayed home if he had failed to run, almost exactly half of them indicated they would have voted for each of the two major candidates. The presence of the Perot voters at the polls effectively canceled each other out, meaning that if Perot had never run, there would have been precisely ZERO difference in the election outcome.

Put this tired old meme that Perot gave the victory to Clinton out of its misery, already. Put a stake through its heart, and salt the ground where it is buried.

VekTor on May 11, 2011 at 9:55 PM

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