List of political parties in the United States

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Ballot access policy in the United States
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Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
List of political parties in the United States
Ballot access information by state
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As of April 2015, there were 39 distinct ballot-qualified political parties in the United States. There were 221 state-level parties. Some parties are recognized in multiple states. For example, both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are recognized in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These two parties account for 102 of the 221 total state-level parties.[1]

Only parties that have qualified for ballot status in their respective states are included in this tally. In order to become ballot-qualified, a party must meet certain requirements. For example, in some states a party's candidate for a specific office must win a certain percentage of the vote in order for the party to be ballot-qualified in the state. In other states, a political party must register a certain number of voters in order to achieve ballot status.[1]

Three minor parties are recognized in more than 10 states:[1]

In addition, 24 political parties had achieved ballot access in only one state as of April 2015. At that time, Florida had granted ballot access to 15 political parties, more than any other state.[1]

The table below lists the distinct ballot-qualified political parties in the United States as of April 2015.[1]

Total state affiliates for each political party, April 2015
Political party Number of states
America First Party 1
America's Party 1
American Constitutional Party 1
American Independent Party 1
American Party 1
Americans Elect Party 3
Conservative Party 1
Constitution Party 12
D.C. Statehood Green Party 1
Democratic Party 51
Ecology Party 1
Grassroots Party 1
Green Independent Party 1
Green Party 18
Independence Party 5
Independent American Party 3
Independent Party 5
Justice Party 2
Labor Party 1
Legal Marijuana Now Party 1
Libertarian Party 34
Liberty Union Party 1
Moderate Party 1
Mountain Party 1
Natural Law Party 2
Pacific Green Party 1
Party for Socialism and Liberation 1
Peace and Freedom Party 2
Progressive Party 2
Reform Party 3
Republican Party 51
Socialist Party 1
Socialist Workers Party 1
Tea Party 1
U.S. Taxpayers Party 1
United Citizens Party 1
United Independent Party 1
Veterans Party 1
Working Families Party 4
TOTAL 221

The number of ballot-qualified political parties fluctuates regularly, as parties gain or lose qualified status. For example, Arkansas requires minor parties to win at least 3 percent of the vote in the most recent gubernatorial or presidential election in order to maintain ballot status. Minor parties have failed to achieve these requirements in recent elections. As a result, the parties have been required to reapply regularly for ballot status.[1]

Some states distinguish between "major" parties and "minor" parties. Specific differences between major and minor parties differ from state to state. For example, in all states, major parties are granted access to primary elections. Some states, however, do not permit minor parties to participate in primary elections. Consequently, minor party candidates in these states can run only in general elections.[1]

The table below lists the ballot-qualified political parties in each state as of April 2015.[1]

Historical research

2014

July 2014

As of July 2014, there were 34 distinct ballot-qualified political parties in the United States.

May 2014

As of May 2014, there were 34 distinct ballot-qualified political parties in the United States.

April 2014

As of April 2014, there were 34 distinct ballot-qualified political parties in the United States.

2013

December 2013

As of December 2013, there were 27 distinct ballot-qualified political parties in the United States.

Political party presence in state legislatures

State senators

See also: State senate elections, 2014 and State senators

As of April 6, 2015, 1,911 state senators are affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties. This total is updated monthly.

Party Number Percentage
Democratic state senators 825 41.7%
Republican state senators 1,086 54.9%
Nonpartisan state senators 49 2.47%
Independent state senators 2 0.10%
Third party state senators 1 0.05%
Vacancies 13 0.65%

State representatives

See also: State house elections, 2014 and State senators

As of April 6, 2015, 5,367 state representatives are affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties. This total is updated monthly.

Party Number Percentage
Democratic state representatives 2,345 43.3%
Republican state representatives 3,022 55.9%
Independent state representatives 18 0.33%
Third party representatives 6 0.11%
Vacancies 15 0.277%

Voter preference for a third party

According to Gallup poll conducted during the first week of the federal government shutdown in October 2013, 60 percent of Americans felt "the Democratic and Republican parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed." Voter preference for a third major party has increased 20 percent in the past 10 years, from a low of 40 percent in 2003 (the first year Gallup conducted this poll).[2]

Perceived need for a major third party[2]
Poll Current parties do an adequate job Third party neededNo opinion
Gallup
October 3-6, 2013
26%60%14%
Gallup
September 6-9, 2012
45%46%9%
Gallup
September 8-11, 2011
38%55%8%
Gallup
April 20-23, 2011
40%52%8%
Gallup
August 27-30, 2010
35%58%7%
Gallup
September 8-11, 2008
47%47%6%
Gallup
September 14-16, 2007
39%57%4%
Gallup
July 6-8, 2007
33%58%10%
Gallup
September 7-10, 2006
45%48%7%
Gallup
October 10-12, 2003
56%40%4%
AVERAGES 40.4% 52.1% 7.7%
Note: Exact question asked in the survey: "In your view, do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job of representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed?"

Political party articles on Ballotpedia

Below is a partial listing of the political parties that are covered on Ballotpedia.

Darkpurpleslashed.png : 2010 Peace Party
Limeslashed.png : Alaskan Independence Party
American Independent : American Independent (CA)
Conservative Party : Conservative Party
Constitution Party : Constitution Party
Democratic Party : Democratic Party
Green Party : Green Party
Independence Party of America : Independence Party of America
Independent : Independent (No party affiliation)
Constitution_Party#Independent_American_Party_of_Nevada : Independent American (Nevada)
Darkgreenslashed.png : Justice for Vermonters Party
Libertarian Party : Libertarian Party
Pinkslashed.png : Liberty Union Party
Moderate Party : Moderate Party
Green Party#Mountain Party : Mountain Party
Peace and Freedom Party : Peace and Freedom Party
Progressive Party : Progressive Democratic Party
Lime2.png : Progressive Party (Vermont)
Greenslashed.png : Vermont-Independence Party
Reform Party : Reform Party
Republican Party : Republican Party
Tea Party : Tea Party
Working Families Party : Working Families Party

See also

External links

News

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 This information is based on research conducted by Ballotpedia staff in February and March 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gallup, "In U.S., Perceived Need for Third Party Reaches New High," October 11, 2013