It’s an issue that has been bubbling under the surface of American politics for a while, with Republicans trying to paint Democrats as out of touch and Democrats as trying to outsmart the GOP.
And yet, the issue is getting more attention than ever, as a number of polls show a rise in people saying they would vote for a third-party candidate if they were offered one.
The biggest question: How does one get their head around the fact that their vote isn’t really going to help them?
It’s the kind of question that a new Pew Research Center poll suggests a growing number of Americans are asking themselves.
It’s also the kind that has Democrats and Republicans at each other’s throats, with one GOP lawmaker accusing the other of being “stupid” for making such a big deal out of it.
It comes as President Donald Trump has been trying to shift blame away from the media for the media’s coverage of the president’s response to the deadly shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., in December.
Trump has insisted he had nothing to do with the incident, but has insisted that his words on the campaign trail helped spur the attack.
While there’s no evidence to support that claim, the president has repeatedly insisted he’s not guilty of anything.
The president’s public statements on the San Bernardino shooting were so critical of the media that they caused him to lose his media credentials, according to his lawyers, and he has repeatedly denied that he ever directed his supporters to attack people.
But that hasn’t stopped the president from trying to pin blame on the media, saying it was “totally irresponsible” for the public to believe his supporters were trying to shoot people.
The New York Times and CNN have both had their coverage of Trump scrutinized by the media over the weekend, while other outlets, like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, have taken a more measured approach to what their reporters should be looking for.
It may be too early to tell if the president is truly hurting himself with this criticism, but for the first time, there is a clear sense that the media are going to be watching.
A recent poll showed a significant majority of Americans think it’s “very likely” that a third party candidate will win the election, and a Pew poll released in June also showed a majority of respondents believe the media is out to get Trump.
What’s driving the spike in interest in third-parties, and the public’s willingness to consider it?
Pew Research has asked about this question every month for a decade, and it’s been clear for some time that Americans are ready to change their minds.
The latest survey showed that while the number of people who say they’d vote for someone who wasn’t a Republican jumped from 18% to 28% in March, the number who said they would “strongly” support a third option jumped from 9% to 16%.
That’s in line with what Gallup has found in its polling, which found that more than four-in-ten Americans say they would back a third alternative if given the chance in a hypothetical election.
And while the rise in interest has been somewhat muted in the past year, it’s still notable, as Pew’s polling suggests people are not necessarily ready to jump into the political fray just yet.
Pew’s recent survey also showed that support for third parties has declined among voters who identified as Republicans.
In March, 46% of those voters said they’d support a candidate other than the GOP, and just 18% said they were leaning toward voting for one.
That’s the lowest number Pew has seen in the last decade.
But those numbers were still higher than those who identified with the Democratic Party, and those who said their party was the Republican Party, which includes a third of voters.
The rise in third party support is also notable for two reasons.
First, it may reflect people’s more favorable opinion of Trump, according a Pew survey from last summer that found that 46% have a favorable view of Trump compared to just 15% who have a neutral view of him.
Second, it comes as the president continues to try to deflect blame away in the wake of the shooting.
While Trump and his supporters have been pointing fingers at the media and Democrats, a majority (57%) of respondents to Pew’s latest survey also believe the president isn’t responsible for the attacks in San Bernadino.
And a majority say that while they think the media has been “out of touch” and out of control, the media isn’t out to make money off of the tragedy and hasn’t been “stealing” the presidency.
This question is similar to the one Gallup has asked a couple of years ago, which was when it found that 62% of Americans felt the media was out of sync with the public and that “it is more important than ever that the country knows the truth about what happened on December 4, 2015.”
Still, even with the rise of interest in the issue, there are still a number people who don’t want to think about