As Washington braces for another budget showdown, this time with the threat of defunding the new healthcare law in the mix, the key political force pushing for conservative policies sees diminished popular support. Fewer Americans now describe themselves as supporters of the Tea Party movement than did at the height of the movement in 2010, or even at the start of 2012. Today’s 22% support nearly matches the record low found two years ago. [Gallup]
WHAT THE Tea Party was to the 2010 elections can’t be denied, but unless the world turns upside down for them they won’t have that power in 2014. Only 11% in the new Gallup poll are “strong supporters.”
Strong Tea Party Opponents Outnumber Strong Supporters
In addition to their overall advantage in numbers, opponents of the Tea Party also lead supporters in intensity. The majority of Tea Party opponents call themselves strong opponents, while supporters are evenly divided as strong and not strong supporters. The net result is that 17% of Americans consider themselves strong opponents of the Tea Party, contrasted with 11% who are strong supporters, similar to the balance seen in 2011.
What’s just as bad for the Tea Party, especially Republicans running for the Senate who think being a Tea Party extremist will help them is that 51% of America don’t care about them one way or the other. This means their scare tactics and hyperbole won’t work, because the emotion has drained out of their movement. That’s never a good thing for outsider rabble rousers who depend on emotion, as can be seen every day on wacko bird radio through Limbaugh and Hannity, whose hero is Senator Ted Cruz.