(The Center Square) – Voters across the country have largely soured on the two major political parties, with just 20% of respondents in a new State Policy Network (SPN) survey considering the parties civil and fewer than half of partisans finding their own party “ethical.”
In the poll of 2,043 voters conducted from June 14-18, fewer than one in five of respondents also indicated they see either of the parties as “civil” and just half of interviewees view their own party that way.
SPN messaging strategist Erin Norman told The Center Square the message being sent by voters couldn’t be clearer.
“There is strong and increasing desire among most Americans to return to greater civility in politics, which includes bipartisan work in Congress,” Norman said. “Neither party is putting effort in those places and it’s showing in what the people think of the parties.”
Norman said all the back-and-forth has frustrated voters who ponder what other options they may have.
“We have had a few cycles where voters have openly said they disliked both major candidates but still went to the polls and voted for one or the other, so there are clearly barriers to a third-party run,” she added. “But there is a massive opportunity for a major party candidate to take a new approach and win over more than enough moderate and party-leaners to win and go into office with good momentum.”
On average, just 26% of voters (28% of Republicans and 24% of Democrats) said they consider the ideals and policies of the two parties to be balanced and an average of 21% of respondents said they view them as compassionate, with Republicans at just 16%.
Norman said it’s not hard to see why so many voters see things in such a dwindling light.
“It’s not what we traditionally think of as ‘issues’ – like health care, education, or taxes,” she added. “It’s a lack of compromise from both sides, and a feeling that there are very few politicians that are focused on solutions to the problems that matter to the American people.”
In addition, just 28% of Democrats say “fair” describes their party’s ideals and policies vs. 30% of Republicans. An average of 31% of interviewees view their party’s ideals and policies as irresponsible, topped by 35% of Democrats.
The poll, conducted in partnership with Morning Consult, had a margin of error of 2%.