In the run up to the 2010 elections and in the aftermath, I theorized that the net effect of the Tea Party on the Republican Party and American politics in general, would be negative. Like many others, I detailed the turn in the tide in the movement’s popularity in “The Fading Allure of the Tea Party Movement”. Also like many others who follow this most intriguing of American political phenomenon’s, I have chronicled the continued fading fortunes of the Tea Party movement. As such I am not surprised in the least at the newest findings that point to the continued decline in the popularity of the Tea Party movement: “More Now Disagree with Tea Party – Even in Tea Party Districts”; recently released by the Pew Research Center.
What this new research shows is the following:
1. “Since the 2010 midterm elections, the Tea Party has not only lost support nationwide, but also in the congressional districts represented by members of the House Tea Party Caucus.”
2. “The image of the Republican Party has declined even more sharply in these GOP-controlled districts than across the country at large…As recently as March of this year, GOP favorability was 55% compared to 41% who say they have a favorable opinion of the GOP. 48% say they now have an unfavorable view…But the steep decline in GOP favorability in Tea Party districts means that these constituencies now view the Republican Party about as negatively as the Democratic Party.”
3. “More Americans say they disagree (27%) than agree (20%) with the Tea Party movement…A year ago the balance of opinion was just the opposite: 27% agreed and 22% disagreed with the Tea Party.”
4. “Nationwide, support has decreased significantly over the past year; now about as many people living in Tea Party districts disagree (23%) as agree (25%) with the Tea Party.”
Graphics courtesy of the Pew Research Center
What these findings confirm is that there has been absolutely no resurgence of popularity of the Tea Party movement which has emerged to stanch what seems to be an inevitable long term decline. While sitting legislators on Capitol Hill, who rode to power on what now seems to be a protest vote in 2010, continue to wreck havoc on the legislative process, there is little reason to believe that most of these same people will be back in office after 2012. That is if these findings are at all accurate. Thus for all of the fanfare and theatrics that surrounded the rise of the Tea Party movement, it’s seemingly unrelenting decline seems to be far less dramatic. Perhaps that’s a function of the movement having already lost so much in terms of popularity that the American people have already written it off. After all, the Tea Party movement is no more or less popular than the two major political parties and we all know that Congress and the G.O.P. have favorability ratings that are at an all time low.
More Now Disagree with Tea Party – Even in Tea Party Districts; http://www.people-press.org/2011/11/29/more-now-disagree-with-tea-party-–-even-in-tea-party-districts/
An Impending and Inevitable Train Wreck; http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_j_gulitti/2010/10/31/an_impending_and_inevitable_train_wreck
The Fading Allure of the Tea Party Movement; http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_j_gulitti/2011/04/23/the_fading_allure_of_the_tea_party_movement
Will the Tea Party Derail Fiscal Reform?; http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_j_gulitti/2011/07/07/will_the_tea_party_derail_fiscal_reform
Occupy Wall Street Tops Tea Party in Popularity; http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_j_gulitti/2011/10/14/occupy_wall_street_tops_tea_party_in_popularity
Grass Roots vs. The Tea Party; http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_j_gulitti/2011/10/13/grass_roots_vs_the_tea_party
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