With over 40% of Americans self-identifying as "independents" and congressional approval ratings hovering around 10%, there is no doubt that the electorate is unhappy with the state of our "two-party system." In a recent survey, an astonishing 80% of voters from all across the map replied that that they would vote independent or third party if a viable alternative were made available. From the Reason.com:
The recent Reason-Rupe poll finds that 80% of Americans say they would or might consider voting for an Independent or third-party presidential candidate in the 2012 election. Specifically, 60% said they would consider voting for an independent or third-party candidate, 20% said they might consider, 17% said they would not consider, and 3% said they did not know whether they would consider voting for an Independent or third-party presidential candidate.
The current electoral process encourages pandering to the extremes in the primary, and attempting to come to the middle during the general election. As a result, we get candidates who polarize the electorate, then lack the credibility to truly represent it.