Support for the Tea Party — and with it, the Republican Party — has fallen sharply even in places considered Tea Party strongholds, according to a new survey.
In Congressional districts represented by Tea Party lawmakers, the number of people saying they disagree with the Tea Party has risen sharply over the year since the movement powered a Republican sweep in midterm elections, so that almost as many people disagree with the Tea Party as agree with it, according to the poll by the Pew Research Center.
Support for the Republican Party has fallen more sharply in those places than it has in the country as a whole. In the 60 districts represented in Congress by a member of the House Tea Party Caucus, Republicans are viewed about as negatively as Democrats.
The survey suggests that the Tea Party may be dragging down the Republican Party heading into a presidential election year, even as it ushered in a new Republican majority in the House of Representatives just a year ago.
Which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Folks outside the ranks of True Believers looked at who bought and paid for the “movement” and recognized them for what they are – and always have been. The moneybags for rightwing extremists and reactionaries who found a home in the Republican Party decades ago.
Many of those inside the Tea Party were either deluded by their own ignorance – or the agitprop they were fed. Many of those, especially seniors, have realized how truly dumb it would for them to be working to scuttle Social Security or Medicare. How foolish it would be to continue the downward spiral of American education – especially for their own kids and grandkids.
Other polls have shown a decline in support for the Tea Party and its positions, particularly because its hard line during the debate over the debt ceiling and deficit reduction made the Tea Party less an abstraction. In earlier polls, most Americans did not know enough about the Tea Party to offer an opinion…
How much this affects Republican chances in the presidential contest next year, Mr. Kohut said, probably depends on which candidate wins the nomination. “If the candidate is of a more conservative bent, he or she will have to deal with this complaint about the Tea Party among the general public, of being too extreme and not willing to compromise,” he said.
“The focus has been very much on the candidate and not on the party, but going into this election the party has problems,” he said. “Which isn’t to say that people are wildly enthusiastic about the Democratic Party, but it hasn’t lost the kind of favor the G.O.P. has.”
Sounds like my neighborhood, my extended family. All it really took was the assorted mouthpieces for Dick Armey or the Koch Brothers to lay out their program for privatizing Social Security with something handed over as a present to Wall Street. Turning Medicare and Medicaid over to the assembly of corrupt guilds known as the American Insurance Industry is enough to sicken the hardiest conservative.
Coat that sugar pill with misogyny, a touch of racism, a little old-fashioned xenophobia – you could turn the stomach of a Texan raised on Lubbock well water and Wonder Bread.