Tea Party Support At All-Time Low In New Poll
According to a new poll, the Tea Party has worn out its welcome with Americans, and is now more unpopular than ever. Only 22 percent of people still support the movement, compared with 30 percent who oppose it, which makes for a net approval rating of -8. That’s the lowest favorability the group has ever registered, but it gets worse (or better, depending on who you’re talking to): The Tea Party doesn’t even have majority support within the Republican Party anymore.
In its glory days of 2010, the Tea Party commanded support from 61 percent of Republicans; that number has now fallen to 41 percent, per the latest Gallup poll. Amongst the population at large, support for the Tea Party has dropped from just under a third of the country (33 percent) to less than a quarter (22 percent) in the same period of time.
The GOP greeted the Tea Party with fanfare during Obama’s first term, and leveraged it very effectively in mustering up opposition to the Affordable Care Act. However, by nominating extremely conservative but politically-inept candidates in Republican primaries, the Tea Party has arguably done the GOP more harm than good. In 2010 and 2012, Tea Party candidates running under the Republican banner lost winnable Senate races in Colorado, Delaware, Nevada, Missouri and Indiana, which cost the GOP control of the Senate. It was largely because those candidates kept saying things like this:
Now, two years later, the movement seems to have lost some of its potency. Two of the biggest Tea Partiers in Congress — Reps. Allen West and Joe Walsh — were defeated in 2012, while standard-bearer Michele Bachmann declined to run for reelection in 2014. On Tuesday, the Tea Party candidate in North Carolina’s Senate primary lost to the preferred Republican establishment candidate, and now, the movement’s popular support now at an all-time low. Tea Party, we hardly knew ye.