The Pennsylvania Department of State says nearly twice as many Republicans changed their party affiliation in the first few months of the year than Democrats.

Political experts believe some of that party jumping was triggered by the Capitol Hill riot.

John Kincaid with Lafayette College says a significant number of those people are part of a decades-long trend of voters from both parties going independent.

"Because they don't feel fully comfortable with either party since both of them have become more extreme," Kincaid said.

Locally, since January 6, 300 Lehigh County Republicans became Democrats, and 423 joined another party. Barely half as many Democrats switched sides, and 107 went other.

In Northampton County 275 Republicans became Democrats, and 381 went other. Meanwhile, 175 Democrats went Republican and 107 changed to other.

What impact will all this have on the midterms, with governor and senator races on the line? Chris Borick with Muhlenberg College says only time will tell.

"Pennsylvania is such a competitive state, these two races are very close including our recent presidential races which raises the question even small losses can be very damaging to a party's chances," Borick said.

Borick says while there has been some talk of a third party, that's unlikely.

"They have to move through all of these logistical hoops and that's why it's always been very difficult in American politics for third parties to evolve," Borick said.

Experts say the last time a spike was connected to an event instead of a candidate was in response to the Iraq War.

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