- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Exactly half of U.S. voters now say that a third party “is needed,” while over a third said they would likely vote for an alternative candidate in the 2020 presidential election, according to a new survey.

Job approval is an issue. Only a fifth of the respondents said they felt that the Republican and Democratic parties do an “adequate job” of representing the American people

Those are among the findings of a Politico/Morning Consult poll released Tuesday which found that 50 percent of all registered U.S. voters say a third party “is needed” — that includes 45 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of independents and 45 percent of Democrats.

This is news of interest to the Libertarian and Green parties, along with Sen. Bernard Sanders and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who ponders running for president as an independent.

Would Americans vote for such a candidate?

The survey found that 35 percent overall say they would likely choose the independent; 25 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 30 percent of Democrats agree. This could worry the GOP and the Democrats, concerned the trend would split the vote in a close election.

Another 46 percent, however, say it’s not likely they would vote for the independent; 59 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats agree.

The poll revealed dismal approval ratings for the two main parties. It found that only 22 percent of voters overall say the Republican and Democratic parties to an “adequate job” of representing the American people; 26 percent of Republicans, 9 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats agree.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,993 registered U.S. voters was conducted Feb. 1-2.

Meanwhile, the national Libertarian Party staged its own State of the Union event Tuesday, delivered online by Jeff Hewitt, a Libertarian elected to the Riverside County, California, board of supervisors in November.

“The Constitution requires that the president shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union,” Mr. Hewitt said. “This is one of the simplest and least controversial provisions in the document. But surprise. Republicans and Democrats struggle to agree even on that. The Libertarian Party is happy to pick up where the old parties fail, so we thought it would be fitting to offer some information you won’t hear in the torrent of doom and gloom from our nation’s capital.”

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