Gallup Poll: Independents Still the Biggest Voting Group in the US

Political independents continue to be the largest voting bloc in the U.S., with 43% of U.S. adults identifying this way in 2023, a new Gallup Poll found.

The share of independents in the latest survey matches the record high from 2014 and underscores the importance of voters with no party affiliation ahead of the 2024 election, widely expected to be a rematch between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.

According to Gallup, independent identification has been 40% or higher each year since 2011, except for the 2016 and 2020 presidential election years, when it was 39% each year. The poll found equal 27% shares of Americans that currently identify as Republicans and Democrats, with the latter hitting a new low.

Democrats previously had an advantage over Republicans in most years since regular polling began in 1991.

Independents first began to outnumber supporters of either major political party in 1991 and have continued to do so since, except in several years between 2004 and 2008.

“The increase in the percentage of independents has come more at the expense of Democrats than Republicans, which might be expected since Democrats were previously the largest political group,” Gallup said.

This year, slightly more independents leaned Republican than Democrat, 45% to 43%, the survey found.

According to the poll, 36% of U.S. adults in 2023 described their political views as conservative. Another 36% described them as moderate and a quarter described them as liberal. The figures for ideological identification have changed little over the past 10 years, according to Gallup.

Drops in the percentage of political independents are typical in presidential election years, so the figures are likely to change in the coming months.

While several third-party or independent candidates have launched bids for the White House, they are largely considered spoilers who would siphon support and tip the election in favor of either the Democrat or Republican nominee.

Political organization No Labels has been in search of a centrist nominee to potentially mount a third-party run, with some speculating that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who is not seeking reelection in the Senate, is considering headlining the ticket in 2024.

The poll’s results were based on combined surveys conducted in 2023 with a sample of 12,145 U.S. adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percentage point.

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