A freshman senator from Nebraska penned a fiery political manifesto on Facebook early Thursday morning stating his opposition to the presidential candidates from both major parties.
On Wednesday, Sen. Ben Sasse says he visited his local Walmart and received four unsolicited confessions from men and women of different political affiliations who were unhappy with both Washington politics and the two front-runner candidates for president.
Donald Trump was recently named the presumptive Republican nominee for president. Hillary Clinton is expected to be the Democratic nominee.
Despite calls from his party's leadership to support Trump, Sasse professed his dissatisfaction with both candidates.
"Normal Americans don't like either party," Sasse wrote on Facebook. "If you ask Americans if they identify as Democrat or Republican, almost half of the nation interrupts to say: 'Neither.' "
A 2015 Pew Research poll found that nearly 1 out of 4 Americans view both parties unfavorably. This year, a Gallup poll said that 42 percent of Americans are independent. Meanwhile, the percentage of the public that identifies as Democratic or Republican is at a nearly historic low. Millennials are more likely to be labeled as politically independent than other generations.
The data — and Sasse's open letter — speak to concerns that a binary system may not be able to reflect the nuances of the American people's political views.
Could a third-party candidate be the answer for those who feel underrepresented?
Sasse has previously declared he would not run as a third-party candidate because he said it would help Clinton with the election. However, a PAC has been formed to draft Sasse for a third-party run, and he could change his tune.
"Our problems are huge right now, but one of the most obvious is that we've not passed along the meaning of America to the next generation," Sasse wrote in his post. "One of the bright spots with the rising generation, though, is that they really would like to rethink the often knee-jerk partisanship of their parents and grandparents. We should encourage this rethinking."