In June 2022, Gallup asked participants in a U.S. survey about their party membership. “In politics,” pollsters asked, “as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat or an independent?”
The largest segment of participants – 43% – said they were independent. Republicans and Democrats represented 27% each.
Note the lower case “i” in independent. That means it’s not a party, as the Democrats and Republicans are. Actual political parties have policies, they have big bank accounts, they have organizations in every state, and they have a place on the ballot in elections.
But if the leaders of a new, centrist political party whose formation was announced on July 28, 2022, accomplish their goal, the “Forward Party” will attract many voters who no longer identify as Democrats or Republicans and it will become a force for moderation - and an institution - in U.S. electoral politics.
“How will we solve the big issues facing America?” the founders said at a news conference. “Not Left. Not Right. Forward.”
Here are three stories from The Conversation’s archives that analyze the chances of third-party success at changing the U.S. political system.