Fifty-three percent of US voters said in a recent survey that they have voted for an independent candidate, according to a Rasmussen report published Monday.
In the survey, Rasmussen defined an independent candidate as one not affiliated with either major party, the Democratic National Committee, or the Republican National Committee.
Here's how the survey question was worded:
"Have you ever voted for an independent candidate not affiliated with either major party?"
The 53 percent response out of 1,000 likely voters is a massive increase over the 39 percent of voters who answered yes to the same question in March of last year. It's also a symbolic tipping point as now over half of US voters have voted for an independent or third party candidate.
The stunning survey results should embolden independent and third party candidates across the country running for office at every level of government in 2018 and beyond.
Voters are also more receptive, according to the Rasmussen survey, to the idea of a third party than they have been in recent years.
Forty-nine percent of likely U.S. voters said it would be "good for the United States" if there was "a truly competitive third political party," five percentage points higher than it was in April of last year.
Only seven percent of respondents said a competitive third party would be bad for the country. Twenty-one percent said it would "make no political difference," and 12 percent were undecided.
The most supportive group for a competitive third party were likely voters under 40 years old. Fifty-eight percent of respondents in that group said it would be good for the country.
In last November's presidential election, the Libertarian Party, the nation's third largest political party behind the Democrats and Republicans, received a groundswell of support in the ballot booth.
With nearly four and a half million votes, the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate, two term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, more than quadrupled the next highest voter turnout for the LP since it was established in 1971.
When John Adams, the first president to belong to a political party in the United States, took office, he wrote a letter to Abigail Adams, saying that George Washington seemed to be thinking, "I am fairly out and you fairly in!" George Washington was the nation's first and last independent U.S. president.
As the tide turns against the antiquated two party system in the United States, it may be only a matter of time before the first independent U.S. president in modern history tells his or her partisan predecessor, "You are fairly out and I fairly in!"