The government shutdown might have a consequence neither of the two parties anticipated: a little competition. Gallup reports that support for a third party is at a new high:
Amid the government shutdown, 60% of Americans say the Democratic and Republicans parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. That is the highest Gallup has measured in the 10-year history of this question. A new low of 26% believe the two major parties adequately represent Americans.
Third parties regularly fail in American life, but the hunger for an alternative to the two existing parties points to one of our core beliefs here at VM: the profound transformation reshaping America demands new ideas and new approaches that go well beyond the alternatives being offered by either party today. The Democrats are trapped by their nostalgia for a blue social model that cannot thrive under current conditions, and the GOP seems more eager to bash bad Democratic ideas than to develop serious proposals that would meet the needs of our times.
In the meantime, voter dissatisfaction with both parties grows. Third party or no, the Democrats and Republicans are going to have to significantly adapt to changing economic, cultural, and political realities in the coming years.