While Republicans and Democrats have held a duopoly over America’s political system since Lincoln, the time may be soon approaching when they will have to share the stage with other parties if millennials have anything to say about it.
According to a new NBC News poll, millennials have overwhelmingly indicated that a wish for a third party to appear on the political stage by a whopping 71 percent. Meanwhile, only 21 percent of millennials think that Republicans and Democrats do an adequate enough job.
The reason? Millennials believe that neither party truly cares about them.
Six in ten disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job, while 59 percent have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party and 42 percent have an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party. On the whole, millennials overwhelmingly do not think either party cares about people like them.
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. The survey was conducted October 26 to November 10, among a nationally representative sample of 1,876 adults aged 18-34.
During the 2016 elections, the Libertarian Party became more popular than it had since Ross Perot, but not popular enough to earn itself a position on the debate stage. This in part occurred because neither Republicans, nor Democrats presented a candidate that many people liked, and proved to have its own interests in mind.
As we move forward, we may see millennials leave the two main parties in search of one that would better support socialist candidates like Bernie Sanders on the left, or libertarian figures like Austin Petersen on the right. Either way, idealism seems to be the millennial’s main attraction to a candidate, and third parties have this in spades.
While 2020 may not prove to be the year of the third party, millennials may be the catalyst that puts more parties on the debate stages.