Percentage of self-identified independents inches up in 2017

The number of Americans who identify as political independents increased slightly in 2017, nearly matching the highest level to date, according to a new poll.

A Gallup Poll released Monday shows 42 percent of Americans, on average, identified as independents in 2017, up from 39 percent in 2016. The highest number for Americans identifying as independent came in 2014, when 43 percent said they did not identify with a party.

In 2017, 29 percent of Americans said they identified as Democrats, while an average of 27 percent said they identify as Republicans, according to the poll.

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Another 18 percent who identify as independent said they lean toward the Democratic Party, while 15 percent of independents said they are Republican-leaning.

Gallup noted that it’s typical in presidential election years for more Americans to identify with a particular party, and for independent identification to rise in the year following a presidential race.

The 2016 presidential election featured two candidates whose approval ratings both recently hit new lows.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE's approval rating dropped last month to 35 percent in a CNN poll, his lowest figure to date. 

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy 'Too Far Left' hashtag trends on Twitter Resistance or unhinged behavior? Partisan hatred reaches Trump's family MORE, who was the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, held a 36 percent approval rating as of last month, also her lowest to date.