Millennials want a third political party

December 1, 2017

Most Millennials — 71 percent — say the Republican and Democratic parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed, according to the results of an NBC News/GenForward poll released on November 29.

Conducted by the University of Chicago on behalf of the television network from October 26 through November 10 among 1,876 adults age 18-34, the poll found that 60% disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job; while 59% have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party and 42% have an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party. On the whole, Millennials overwhelmingly do not think either party cares about people like them.

What’s more, 63% of respondents disapprove of the way in which President Donald Trump is handling his job. Only 6% strongly approve of his job performance and 16% approve.

These views may help explain why a large majority of young adults — across racial subgroups, genders and partisan affiliations — say a third major party is needed.

White Millennials, at 75%, are most likely to express a desire for a third party, with strong majorities of African-Americans (69%), Asian-Americans (69%) and Latinos (64%) agreeing.

Three quarters of men(74%) said that a third major party is needed and only 23% said the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job representing the American people. Women were more likely to say that the parties do an adequate job (29%)—but a sizeable majority (69%) still said a third party is needed.

Independent Millennials who do not lean toward either party and Millennials who identify as Democrats or Democratic-leaners were more likely to say a third party is needed (74% and 75%, respectively) than Millennials who identify as Republicans or Republican-leaners (67%). Three in 10 Republicans said the parties do an adequate job, compared to one-quarter of Democrats and only 22% of Independents.

Research contact: stephanie.perry@nbcuni.com

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