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Tea Party Hits Lows In New Poll

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll has some bad news for the Tea Party movement:

There’s some bad news for the tea party in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Just 26 percent of Americans say they hold a favorable view of the movement — a record low.

It doesn’t end there.

Roughly one in three (34 percent) Republicans hold an unfavorable view of the tea party. So do 62 percent of independents.

Two thirds of Americans (67 percent) disapprove of the way tea party-aligned GOP members of Congress have handled budget negotiations, including about half of all Republicans (49 percent).

Finally, a majority of Americans (54 percent) say they oppose the tea party movement, including nearly three in 10 Republicans (28 percent) and more than half of independents (54 percent).

The chart tells the tale:

Tea Party Poll

 

The Fix’s Sean Sullivan makes this observation:

One, it’s clear that opposition to the tea party isn’t just driven by Democrats. The GOP’s divide over the movement is pretty striking. And it suggests more discord is in store for a party that has been struggling to find its footing after two straight presidential defeats.

Two, as bad as the numbers look for the tea party, they are not that far off the Republican Party as a whole. Twenty-six percent is a lousy, lousy favorable rating. But so is 32 percent, the number the GOP as a whole is sporting, which is near a record low. The GOP’s current unfavorable rating of 63 percent is a record high.

The question, of course, is whether this will cause more traditional Republicans to begin pushing back against the Tea Party tide.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. James Pearce says:

    The question, of course, is whether this will cause more traditional Republicans to begin pushing back against the Tea Party tide.

    What this poll also reflects are former Tea Partiers now saying, “No, no, I’ve always been a traditional Republican.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  2. C. Clavin says:

    The known unknown is how sustained the backlash will be.
    Will it carry through the 2014 mid-terms…and is it enough to jar loose some gerry-mandered districts?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  3. gVOR08 says:

    I saw a political scientist talk about the deep dark secret they don’t talk about, that the electorate are a box of rocks. I’m worried about short memories. But I’m comforted by the current Democratic fund raising edge. The Dems will be able to remind them.

    The Republican strategy, de facto if not actually planned, has been to sabotage the government, then run on shrinking government because it doesn’t work. I hope they’re finding out the electorate aren’t that dumb. They remember the government used to work, and they liked it that way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  4. JKB says:

    Of course, if you polled on what the Tea Party believes, smaller government, refined regulation and fiscal control, you’d get different numbers. Probably to improve as the Obamacare debacle proceeds and debt ceiling has yet another raise the roof party.

    But the Tea Party brand has been damaged by the concerted PR campaign to be sure. And the over the top actions by some.

    On the other hand, it was just early September when many were still saying the Tea Party was so over, yet here were are a month later wondering how such a defunct organization has such influence over the national debate.

    Where pray tell is the Occupy movement? The coffee party? Why do so few in Congress representing such an unpopular movement have such power to control the debate? There is popularity and there is power. Sometimes they coincide, but if you can only have one, the latter is the trait you’ll find most effective.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 29

  5. C. Clavin says:

    “… Why do so few in Congress representing such an unpopular movement have such power to control the debate?”

    Seriously? Have you not been paying attention? How f’ing dumb can you be?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  6. rudderpedals says:

    @JKB: OWS was hated by the banksters and didn’t have TP-level commercial support so it went away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  7. David M says:

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving group.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  8. C. Clavin says:

    “…Of course, if you polled on what the Tea Party believes, smaller government, refined regulation and fiscal control, you’d get different numbers…”

    Again…abstract ideas poll great. But specifics never fly. Congress, when recently faced with a vote on the hard truth of these abstract ideas, failed to pass them. The public, when polled on the specifics of these bumper stickers, doesn’t want them. And Republicans, when elected to the White House, never ever follow through on them.

    As for Occupy…what rudderpedals said…
    Occupy was an actual grass-roots movement. And to minimize it’s impact is to ignore the entire 47% conversation.
    The Tea-Baggers on the other hand are organized and funded by the Koch’s. It’s an astroturf movement being run by party elite. To pretend otherwise is nonsense.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2

  9. LaMont says:

    @C. Clavin:

    This is why I stopped responding to people like JKB a long time ago. If you have to explain it in such detail, it is very likely that they will either never get it or won’t even try to understand. Politics is the one thing besides religion that can totally cloud the mind and make even the sharpest person appear to be absolutely dumb!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  10. john personna says:

    In continuing “not smart” strategy, Ted Cruz has decided to force the issue with non-Teas.

    He’d be far smarter, genuinely smart, to rebuild bridges.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Of course, if you polled on what the Tea Party believes, smaller government, refined regulation and fiscal control, you’d get different numbers.

    And if you polled people on all the services they want, you’d get another answer again.

    @LaMont:

    The weird thing about OTB’s few remaining “conservatives” and resident trolls, is that they seem to reflect the active goals of the Republican party. They aren’t say like Michael Moore to the Democrats. They are like Ted Cruz.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  12. stonetools says:

    Doug, your concern that the Republican Party reform itself is touching, but it can’t be reformed at this point. There really isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Tea Partisans and “traditional” Republicans in terms of policy goals. They oppose any and all new taxes on the rich for any reason, they all hate the poor and don’t want them to get health insurance or government benefits, they oppose gay marriage, they want to keep out the browns and they never met defense spending they didn’t like. The only difference is that the Tea Party folks are dumber and more confrontational.
    Fortunately or unfortunately, the Republicans drew their districts in a way that empowered the dumber, more strident sort of Republican. Not surprisingly, we are getting more and more of them. National polls don’t mean anything to Tea Partisans , because their constituents like them just fine.
    The solution is just to vote out the whole lot out. If they are in the wilderness a while, they may reform. If that doesn’t happen, things will just get worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  13. wr says:

    @JKB: “Of course, if you polled on what the Tea Party believes…”

    Sure: “All government is evil, except that which directly benefits me, which is God’s will.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  14. john personna says:

    @stonetools:

    There really isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Tea Partisans and [other modern] Republicans in terms of policy goals?

    Historically Republicans have voted for safety nets.

    On October 30, 1969 Richard Nixon signed landmark social security and Medicare legislation increasing much needed benefits to widowed seniors who now receive 100 percent of their deceased spouses Social Security benefits, and extended medical coverage to 1.5 million beneficiaries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. humanoid.panda says:

    @JKB: Americans also support higher taxes on the wealthy, reducing deficits by combination of tax hikes and cuts, increasing spending on social security, medicare, and education, a serious clampdown on campaign finance, and all the major elements of the ACA, except the mandate. Are those part of the Tea Party platform?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  16. Snarky Bastard says:

    @john personna: Anything in the past 15 years

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. john personna says:

    @Snarky Bastard:

    Probably. When GWB first ran in 2000 on “compassionate conservatism” there were many middle and just right of middle who wanted to believe it.

    It would have been a nice thing, a belief in markets, but also a genuine compassion for “the 47%.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  18. C. Clavin says:

    @ stonetools:

    “…Doug, your concern that the Republican Party reform itself is touching, but it can’t be reformed at this point…”

    Not sure where I stand on this…but eventually I hope concern for the Republic will cause calmer heads to prevail.

    With apologies to Churchill:

    “…”I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia the Tea Baggers. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian our common national interest…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @C. Clavin: I think using that revised quote gives far too much credit to the Tea Partiers. Russia was an enigma to outsiders, but able to run itself rather well. The Tea Partiers have nothing more than the kneejerk reaction of being Against Big Government, but are unwilling to take the responsibility of what would in fact be cut in order to do so. It’s far more a case of “Benefits for Me but not for Thee. Oh, and you’re an UnAmerican Treasonous Bastard for pointing out my hypocrisy.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  20. stonetools says:

    @john personna:

    Historically Republicans have voted for safety nets.

    There is no doubt in my mind that to most modern Republicans, Richard Nixon would be seen as a squishy moderate and a RINO. That would include even folks like Coburn and Grassley.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  21. C. Clavin says:

    @ Grumpy…
    Maybe. But the question was if traditional Republicans would push back…in an effort that would presumably be seen as reform.
    Think of Clinton versus the more radical Democratic politics of the late 60′s/early 70′s.
    I often say Big C Conservatism has much to offer and I am sincere in that belief.
    Unfortunately…and I think we agree on this….what has happened is that self-interested clowns like Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin, with no regard for the Republic and it’s institutions and traditions, have aligned with fundamentalist-like ideologues and become what is essentially a zombie-party…working in diametric opposition to actual Republican ideals.
    My hope…my crazy political fantasy…is that at some point a real Conservative will put on their man-pants and send these ignoramuses back to whence they came.
    And really…how often do you get to use “whence”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  22. C. Clavin says:

    Doug…
    For your “BOTH SIDES DO IT” fetish…from Dick Durbin’s Facebook Page:

    Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn’t try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a “negotiation” meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: “I cannot even stand to look at you.”
    What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?

    https://www.facebook.com/dickdurbin/posts/10151913678099303
    When are you going to man-up and abandon this party???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  23. Rick Almeida says:

    @JKB:

    Where pray tell is the Occupy movement?

    Perhaps it doesn’t matter so much where it is _now_ in light of the fact that it seems to have disappeared after shifting the national conversation away from the “all austerity, all the time” trajectory it had been on prior to its emergence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  24. george says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Again…abstract ideas poll great. But specifics never fly. Congress, when recently faced with a vote on the hard truth of these abstract ideas, failed to pass them. The public, when polled on the specifics of these bumper stickers, doesn’t want them. And Republicans, when elected to the White House, never ever follow through on them.

    I think that sums it up quite nicely.

    The devil, as they say, is in the details.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  25. Rob in CT says:

    It would have been a nice thing, a belief in markets, but also a genuine compassion for “the 47%.”

    Which is to say the Democratic Party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. john personna says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Sure, on economic matters Clinton and Obama were “compassionate conservatives” more than they were “communists, or worse, socialists(*)”

    * an old OTB joke

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  27. wr says:

    I wonder if soon we’ll start hearing from Republicans who have “always been opposed to the Tea Party,” just as they were “always opposed to W’s big spending” once the black guy got in office…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  28. al-Ameda says:

    Yet …. by a 52%-34% count a majority of Republicans hold a favorable view, and I suspect that the numbers would have been more favorable among Republicans had Obama capitulated as he did in 2011. I believe that the 34% unfavorable reflects unhappiness with the results, not with the tactics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  29. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Where pray tell is the Occupy movement?

    It was never anything but an ephemeral movement. No real influence, no one elected to Congress based on an OWS stance. Nothing liked the malevolent Tea Party crew, that’s for sure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  30. Dave D says:

    @wr: Today on Rush, Dick Cheney had the balls to say he was against raising the debt ceiling without a reduction in spending. So selective memory is something they maybe hope out of everyone else as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  31. C. Clavin says:

    And of course Rush called him on that little slice of hypocrisy….right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  32. wr says:

    @Dave D: “Today on Rush, Dick Cheney had the balls to say he was against raising the debt ceiling without a reduction in spending. So selective memory is something they maybe hope out of everyone else as well. ”

    Well, it’s not like he was a sitting vice-president who declared that “deficits don’t matter” or anything like that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  33. Tyrell says:

    What is needed is a centrist party that reflects the beliefs and values of regular middle class people. Wait, we already have that. It is called the Southern Democrat party. Been around a long time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  34. al-Ameda says:

    @Dave D:

    @wr: Today on Rush, Dick Cheney had the balls to say he was against raising the debt ceiling without a reduction in spending. So selective memory is something they maybe hope out of everyone else as well.

    I do not believe that there is health insurance plan that covers Selective Amnesia. Frankly, Cheney should do us all a favor and complete his Electric Shock Therapy treatments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    What is needed is a centrist party that reflects the beliefs and values of regular middle class people. Wait, we already have that. It is called the Southern Democrat party. Been around a long time.

    LOL!
    Yes, the same folks who moved over to the Republican Party in the years following passage of the 1964 Civil Right Act.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  36. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: Yes, the same folks who moved over to the Republican Party in the years following passage of the 1964 Civil Right Act.

    You keep saying that but offer no objective evidence.

    On the other hand, several here have come out vocally against capitalism and American exceptionalism, both very much apart of the ideology of Lee Harvey Oswald and very much opposite of the tax cutting, pro-growth President he assassinated. So, I wonder, why after JFK was murdered did the Democratic Party adopt the beliefs of his murderer?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  37. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    several here have come out vocally against capitalism and American exceptionalism

    I’ve certainly come out against silly ideas about capitalism and American exceptionalism.

    For instance, when people think we have a free market system, and not a longstanding mixed economy. Or when people think exceptionalism means we’re the best, even as we lose position in global comparisons.

    “we’re the best, but of course we can’t have life expectancy as high as all those inferior countries.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  38. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin: That probably didn’t happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  39. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    On the other hand, several here have come out vocally against capitalism and American exceptionalism, both very much apart of the ideology of Lee Harvey Oswald and very much opposite of the tax cutting, pro-growth President he assassinated. So, I wonder, why after JFK was murdered did the Democratic Party adopt the beliefs of his murderer?

    …… Speaking of “no objective evidence.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  40. Davebo says:

    @Pinky:

    What do you base that on? A sitting senator screams “liar” at the president during a state of the union address but you find it hard to believe a wingnut House member wouldn’t say that off the record?

    Curious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  41. C. Clavin says:

    @ Pinky…
    I have no idea…that’s why I linked to the source…Durbins own page.
    It’s called attribution.
    As a Fox News viewer you are likely unfamiliar with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  42. An Interested Party says:

    But the Tea Party brand has been damaged by the concerted PR campaign to be sure. And the over the top actions by some.

    In other words

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda:…… Speaking of “no objective evidence.”

    “I think if he had a trial and was allowed to speak, he’d say he did it to deal capitalism a blow,” said the author and historian.

    “In a personal way, I think he would be sorry but he was rising above his own emotions to do something historical.”

    And she’s convincing when she says she believes Oswald acted alone.

    Priscilla Johnson McMillan, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Author of The President and the Assassin, may be the last living person to have met both President John F. Kennedy, and his killer Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @JKB: Yours is sore loser-talk. It’s the primary reason the seeds of what follows the disastrous GOP have yet to be sown.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin: You may have heard that the White House said it didn’t happen? (And BTW – not everyone who disagrees with you watches Fox News. I don’t, except for an occasional episode of Red Eye.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. Pinky says:

    @Davebo: Just because you can imagine a thing happening doesn’t mean it did. Like the example you gave – you said that a sitting senator screamed “liar”, but it was a congressman and he said “you lie”. Small differences, sure, but it shows the way little inaccuracies build up as a story gets passed around the internet. Someone’s going to read your comment and he may think, well, between the congressman I saw, and the congressman that Senator Durbin talked about, and the senator that Davebo mentioned, the Republicans are always heckling the President. It looks like only one of those incidents happened, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0