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  /  News   /  Two-party system ‘not working’ for many Americans: Colorado mayor

Two-party system ‘not working’ for many Americans: Colorado mayor

(NewsNation) — The number of Americans who identify as independent voters is on the rise as many ditch the Democratic and Republican parties ahead of the upcoming November elections.

While this move away from partisan politics can be seen nationwide, cities like Colorado Springs, Colorado, embody the shifting attitudes of voters. Just last year, the city elected its first non-Republican mayor, independent Yemi Mobolade.

Mobolade joined “NewsNation Now” to discuss the growing trend, saying it represents a “seismic shift” in American politics.

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“What’s happening here locally is really, it’s a small sample of a bigger story of what’s happening around the country,” Mobolade said. “A lot of people in my city are independents, about 48% of us. I call ourselves the fastest growing political party, and I expect to see more and more of that trend happening, not just here locally, but also nationally.”

About 6 in 10 U.S. adults have said in Gallup polling since 2013 that the Republican and Democratic parties do “such a poor job representing the American people” that a third major party is needed.

Dubbed the “double haters,” the block of voters who are dissatisfied with both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are trying to decide which one is less bad for the 2024 election.

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In the latest Gallup polling, much of that enthusiasm is carried by independents: 75% say a third party is needed. About 60% of Republicans and slightly fewer than half of Democrats (46%) say an alternative is necessary.

“Boiling the entirety of who we are and our value system into just two political parties is not working for many of us,” Mobolade said.

“One of three major things you’ll find out with independents like me is one: We love America, we love this country, we put people and country over party politics, and two, we’re driven by strong values. I mean, some of those values live in other parties, but we understand that ideology is not enough. And the third thing is we’re very pragmatic,” Mobolade explained.

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Both Biden and Trump are broadly unpopular, but the two lost just three contests out of more than a hundred primaries. This reflects how the Democratic and Republican bases stood by Biden and Trump despite both facing significant political challenges — and in Trump’s case, four criminal indictments, with the only one settled leading to a felony conviction.

However, for all the attention that third parties are drawing nationally this election cycle, some people don’t see the rise of political independents as a threat to the country’s dominant political parties.

This is due to the fact that research has long suggested most independent voters lean toward one of the two major parties. But partisan lean and partisan affiliation are two different things — and what is happening in Colorado Springs suggests to even longtime political experts in Colorado that the traditional party system may be starting to fall apart.