I suggested in my previous post that historical conditions may not quite exist for the formation of a new American political party. But I also warned that we should closely watch the Republican Party to see if they could actually unite its presently arguing factions. The 2013 election scorecard was mixed for the GOP and offers at least some advice to them. In New Jersey, the very popular Governor Chris Christie won re-election by not only uniting his Republican base, but also by doing very well among Hispanic, African American, and women voters. There is no doubt about Christie’s fiscal conservatism, but he has recognized that militant pro-life and anti-gay marriage positions are simply not winners. He also did well, in part, because he was willing to recognize that his state could not rally to the needs of Hurricane Sandy victims without the help of the federal government – hence he embraced President Barack Obama in the closing days of the 2012 campaign. He is both a compassionate conservative and a practical one, to boot.

Virginia’s race for Governor was a bit more complicated. A statewide GOP convention nominated a very militant social conservative in a state that is transforming continuously by an influx of newcomers that are more moderate in the worldview. Cuccinelli outperformed the pre-election polls but arguably should have beaten a very weak Democratic opponent who has only been a resident in the state for about five years and has a questionable reputation from fundraising and business scandals. Cuccinelli made the race close in the final hours by shifting focus to Obamacare, making the election a referendum on both the controversial law and a President declining in the ratings. Having Mr. Obama visit the state two days before the election actually helped Cuccinelli rally Republican voters. But Cuccinelli, unlike Christie, did poorly among moderates, independents, and younger voters – and was hurt by a Libertarian candidate who was heavily funded by some Democratic interest groups.

A mixed day for the GOP. Many conservatives are already trashing Christie and are blaming Cuccinelli for dropping the ball. But the Democrats have little to cheer about. They lost the Governor’s race in a very blue state and were hurt by a Democratic President’s weakened status and major claim to fame – the Affordable Care Act.

Earlier in 2013, Zogby Analytics asked 888 likely voters about their possible support of a new party. (May 7-8, margin of sampling error +/-3.4 percentage points).

 ”There should be a new political party to compete against the Democrats and the Republicans. Agree or disagree?

Agree 56%

Disagree 22%

Not Sure 21%

“Should a new party be mainly liberal, conservative, or moderate on most issues?”

Liberal 16%

Conservative 27%

Moderate 39%

Not Sure 19%

“How likely are you to consider supporting a candidate from a new political party?”

Very Likely 19%

Somewhat Likely 41%

Not Likely 14%

Not Sure 25%

The overall responses are clear enough: majorities agree there is a need for a new party and would consider supporting a new party’s candidate. And the prevailing sentiment is that this party should be moderate in its stances on most issues. But, as is usually the case, the numbers behind the numbers are far more intriguing. While no fewer than 49% of any key demographic group supports the creation of a new party, those most likely to back the idea live in the East (61%) and West (64%), are men (61%), independents and moderates (64%), younger (66% of 18-29 year olds and 61% of 30-49 year olds), and the Creative Class (62%). Of great significance is that this sentiment is shared by 75% of Hispanics, suggesting that while that many presently support Democratic candidates over Republicans, this key and growing voter group wants another option to consider.

Over one in three (36%) of Hispanic voters say they are “very likely” to consider supporting a candidate from a new political party – more than any other group. And a total of 73% of Hispanics are “very” and “somewhat likely” to give this consideration – pretty much tied with independents (73%).

While Republicans (50%), conservatives (62%) and supporters of the Tea Party (49%) favor a new party that tilts conservative on most issues, every other group prefers a moderate vehicle. Notably, this preference is shared by men and women (39%), independents (45%), moderates (64%), Hispanics (45%), Catholics (43%), and Creatives (47%).

In my previous column, I suggested the conditions that must be met for a new political party to happen: a deep national crisis; the failure of at least one of the two parties to provide problem-solving policies; the rise of a new demographic insufficiently served by the two parties; hypertisanship, stasis and gridlock, and a deep national crisis. Arguably, these conditions may exist today. What is more certain, however, is that there is public sentiment that would welcome a new, moderate party to remedy the situation.