58% Say Competitive Third Party Good for USA

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of American adults say it would be good for the United States to have a truly competitive third political party. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 23% disagree while 19% are not sure. Responses vary significantly by age—65% of those under 40 believe a third party would be good for the nation. Just 43% of those over 65 agree.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) believe that the 2008 Presidential election campaign has started too soon. However, a look at the partisan results suggests that Democrats are enjoying the political season more than Republicans. Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans say that the election season has started too soon while only 22% disagree. Democrats are evenly divided—45% say the campaign started too soon but 45% disagree. One reason Democrats may be enjoying it more is that their party has an 11-point advantage on the Generic Congressional Ballot. The number of Americans who consider themselves Republicans fell to a new low in April.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of all Americans say that the current system of primaries and caucuses is a good way to select Republican and Democratic candidates. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree while 27% are not sure. Again, there is a generation gap. Just 44% of those under 30 think the current system is a good approach. However, among the nation’s senior citizens, 72% approve of the current system.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Republicans are satisfied with the current system. That view is shared by 40% of Democrats and just 24% of those not affiliated with either major party.

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