Status of the Tea Party, August 2011: popularity down, influence up — Brooklynian

Status of the Tea Party, August 2011: popularity down, influence up

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?

Yes 18

No 73
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.



    Again, it’s not as if Dems are suddenly the model of popularity, but given public frustrations, a 47/47 rating really isn’t that bad. But the Republican Party’s support is down to an embarrassing 33% — the lowest either party has seen in two decades of CNN polls.

    There’s plenty of speculation about what the 2012 elections have in store, and whether President Obama can win given the larger headwinds. It’s worth remembering that it matters what voters think of the opposition party, and if the recent trends pick up, the much of the public might balk at the idea of handing a wildly-unpopular Republican Party control of the White House and Congress

  • Let the evisceration continue.

    First some fun facts on the Tea Party's toxicity:

    But in fact the Tea Party is increasingly swimming against the tide of public opinion: among most Americans, even before the furor over the debt limit, its brand was becoming toxic. To embrace the Tea Party carries great political risk for Republicans, but perhaps not for the reason you might think.

    Polls show that disapproval of the Tea Party is climbing. In April 2010, a New York Times/CBS News survey found that 18 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of it, 21 percent had a favorable opinion and 46 percent had not heard enough. Now, 14 months later, Tea Party supporters have slipped to 20 percent, while their opponents have more than doubled, to 40 percent.

    Of course, politicians of all stripes are not faring well among the public these days. But in data we have recently collected, the Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we asked about — lower than both Republicans and Democrats. It is even less popular than much maligned groups like “atheists” and “Muslims.” Interestingly, one group that approaches it in unpopularity is the Christian Right.

    And now, the meat.

    Let the destruction of the Tea Party's "humble origins" narrative begin...... NOW

    So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do.

    More important, they were disproportionately social conservatives in 2006 — opposing abortion, for example — and still are today. Next to being a Republican, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics. And Tea Partiers continue to hold these views: they seek “deeply religious” elected officials, approve of religious leaders’ engaging in politics and want religion brought into political debates. The Tea Party’s generals may say their overriding concern is a smaller government, but not their rank and file, who are more concerned about putting God in government.

  • The Tea Party will gridlock itself out of existence. Its anti-governmental style is more damaging than some of the more unsavory aspects of its adherents: homophobia, veiled racism, and populist paranoia.

  • Yeah. It's sad commentary that it's anti government rhetoric is more damaging to its efforts than its homophobia and xenophobia.

    It would be awesome if the traditional news outlets actually reported on what this study found. But it undermines their beloved narrative about grass roots salt of the earth anti-gov americans bullshit.

This discussion has been closed.