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An interesting paradox if ever there was one.
The Incredible Shrinking Tea Party
By Greg Sargent
Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the Tea Party movement, or not?
The 18 percent who self-identify as Tea Party supporters is at its lowest point, tying the 18 percent who supported it way back in April of 2010, when it was first gaining steam as the Congressional races of last cycle began heating up. The trajectory is interesting: The Times poll shows the Tea Party has had some ups and downs, but it steadily gained supporters as the 2010 campaigns wore on, and peaked with 31 percent of the electorate saying they supported the movement at around the time that the GOP won its massive 2010 victory.
Interestingly, the Tea Party is declining in public support even as its influence in Washington has, if anything, peaked. Even if Tea Partyers didn’t get everything they wanted from the debt deal, Tea Party members of Congress yanked the debate way to the right and continue to receive media coverage that’s surprisingly respectful given that many of them were willing to allow the nation to slide into economic catastrophe for its own good.