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What Does a New Third Party in US Politics Mean? Here Are Three Basic Interpretations

Gallup conducted a study in the United States in June 2022 and asked individuals about their party affiliation. Is this the first time you’ve ever been asked this question in the context of politics? ”

There was 43 per cent of participants indicated they were self-sufficient. There was 27 per cent of Republicans and Democrats.

The lower case I in independent is important to note. Thus, unlike the Democrats and Republicans, it is not a political party. A real political party has a platform, a budget, a presence in every state, and a representative on the ballot.

As of July 28, 2022, a new, centrist political party called the “Forward Party” was announced, and if its leaders can achieve their aim, the “Forward Party” will become a force for moderation in U.S. electoral politics.

America’s most pressing problems: What will we do about them??”

At a press conference, the company’s founders said, ” “Not to the left. Weird thing. Forward.”

To see if a third party can make a dent in the United States political system, here are three articles from The Conversation’s archives.

There were four of them, three of them seated at a table and one standing by a fireplace in the 18th century.

There was no love lost between the Founding Fathers and the political parties they formed, with Alexander Hamilton, second from right, calling them a “very fatal sickness.”

1. Don’t Put Too Much Stock in It

The two-party system in the United States has been “besieged” for a long time, according to political scientist Alexander Cohen of Clarkson University. Critics of party politics in general stretch all the way back to the country’s formation.

“Alexander Hamilton referred to political parties as almost terrible sickness,'” Cohen adds. Washington feared that an extremely successful party would lead to “frightful despotism,” while Madison denounced “the violence of faction.”

As a result of the country’s 200-year-long history of political parties, the current two-party system has evolved from a range of parties. According to Cohen, a newcomer will have little chance of upending the current order.

Regardless of recent political earthquakes, present Republicans and Democrats are unlikely to follow in the footsteps of the Whigs, Federalists, and Anti-Federalists.

2. To Bring the Celebration to an End, It’s Difficult

Third parties just do not have an edge in the American political system, notes Indiana University political scientist Marjorie Hershey.

Because of the American electoral system, the US is only a big democracy with two parties able to get elected, says Hershey.


‘Winner takes all’ voting laws are used in most American elections, which means that the person with the most votes wins the one seat up for election.’

A distinct way of electing representatives allows for several political parties to flourish in many other countries, according to Hershey.

Examples include proportional systems in which seats are awarded based on the percentage of votes a party receives.

The Whig Party’s presidential campaign poster from 1852. Within a decade, the celebration had come to an end. Division of Prints and Photographs, Library of Congress

For example, a third party in the Netherlands called the Party for the Animals—made up of animal rights advocates, not dogs and cats—won 3.2 per cent of the legislative vote in 2017 and gained five seats, out of 150, in the national assembly.

It would make sense for even a small party in the United States to run congressional candidates if the party received just 5% of the vote, because “they could win 5% of the state’s U.S. Household seats.”

Even those voters who describe themselves as “independent” or who claim they are disenchanted in political parties are nonetheless swayed by lingering sentiments from their past experiences in those organisations.

Most “independent” voters gravitate toward either the Democrats or Republicans, according to Hershey, and their voting choices are almost as partisan as those who claim to belong to one of the two major political parties.

3. It’s Not Just About Winning

Third parties in the United States are not universally viewed as failures, though. The goal isn’t necessarily to win elections.

A political scientist at Valdosta State University says that “the most successful third parties in U.S. politics don’t often ascend to dominance, but rather threaten the major parties enough to push them to shift course,” he says.

As Tamas, an expert on third parties in the United States, points out in his book, they tend to develop when Democrats and Republicans are politically polarised, as has been the case regularly since the Civil War.

People are becoming more dissatisfied with politics as a result of the increasing divisions within political parties, which means that “greater segments of voters end up not being represented by either one”

For the first half of the century following the American Civil War, the country was deeply divided between the two major political parties. Tamas writes that during that time, third parties were “active and forceful.”

However, they had no intention of becoming an institution in a future multiparty democracy, as the leaders of the Forward Party currently hope.

During the 1870s, the Greenback Party and the Populist Party both sought to force the major parties to adopt policies supporting “poor farmers and opposing business monopolies” through electoral victories.

The Populist Party was particularly successful in pressuring the Democrats to embrace those positions.

When Tamas prophesied that a new centrist third party will arise in 2021—similar to that which debuted on July 28—he was right on the money. He pointed out that the major objective of such a party would be to challenge the Trump-influenced GOP.

While some Republican candidates have opted to follow their party to the extreme, he thinks that the new party could gain strategic benefits by running candidates in more moderate municipal and state elections.

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However, even if the Forward Party generates funds and has successful candidates, it may not last long in the American political environment.

According to Tamas, the Progressive Party only lasted for around ten years. A new third party, however, may be able to halt the Republican Party’s escalation into an extreme and undemocratic route by gaining the support of moderate conservatives and therefore damaging the Republican Party’s electoral ambitions, even if for only a short period.​

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