I'm trying to gauge my level of unhappiness with the Republican Party. I don't think it's quite to "very unhappy", but it might well be "seriously unhappy." I'm not ready to jump ship, but that's mostly because I don't see any better ships around. The current 3rd parties are a joke, populated with zealous fanatics more interested in pet peeves than serious policies.
It's obviously very hard for a 3rd party to get traction, running necessarily unknown people against known incumbents in gerrymandered seats. But I wonder...there are a fair number of current members of Congress that aren't all that comfortable with their parties: Joe Lieberman, Ron Paul, Tom Coburn, and Tom Tancredo come to mind. I wonder if it would be possible for incumbents such as these to jointly jump ship, and run as a 3rd party? As current incumbents, they have name recognition and (some) voter loyalty. I doubt there's enough of them to be more than another caucus in Congress, but I do sense a changing party system.
I think the current two parties are about to break up. The Democrats are dying, and the Republicans are drifting. There's a lot of unhappiness with both parties in the ranks of the faithful. If the Democrats continue to flounder as they have for the past several elections, I think some Republicans might decide they don't need to stay with the Republicans as the anti-Democrat party. I can see the Democrats fading away, while the Republicans split in two, which would return American politics to the traditional two-party system. This could take another decade or two to happen, however.