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Polls show growing American dissatisfaction with the tea party as voter remorse sets in.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey out Wednesday shows a 21 percent increase in unfavorable views of the tea party with nearly half of all Americans no longer seeing the fake grassroots in a favorable light.
This puts the tea party in the same unfavorable range as both the Democratic and Republican Party — hardly a good sign for a so-called “movement” that is supposed to offer an alternative to the traditional party system.
“This is the first time a CNN polls has shown the tea party’s unfavorable ratings as high as those of the other two parties,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland says. “It looks like the rise in the movement’s unfavorable ratings has come mostly among people who make less than $50,000.”
Half of American households earn less than $50,000 a year and the tea party’s favorable ratings have dropped 15 percentage points with that group, compared with five percent with those making over $50,000.
Says Holland: “It’s possible the drop among lower income Americans is a reaction to the tea party’s push for large cuts in government programs that help lower-income Americans, although there are certainly other factors at work.”
CNN’s findings are echoed by a Washington Post poll taken in mid-March and The New York Times reports a steady climb in unpopularity of the Tea Party over the past year.
In Wisconsin, where tea party favorite Gov. Scott Walker is embroiled in a controversial battle against public employee unions, a growing number of Republicans who helped put into office now say they regret that vote and Walker’s popularity is dropping fast because of his planned cuts in education.
“The growing unpopularity of the tea party with the public puts Republicans in a tough political spot,” writes Rachel Weiner in the Washington Post.
Speaker of the House John Boehner may be seeing the handwriting on the wall as he courts moderate Democrats in an effort to craft a budget compromise and avert a government shutdown before the current temporary spending bill expires on April 9.
Tea party advocate Sen. JIm DeMint (R-S.C.) admits his party is in trouble without the tea baggers.
“Unless the tea party stays active, we will wilt,” he said Tuesday.
Around the country, prominent Republicans show a shift away from the rabid right-wing rhetoric of the Tea Party. Barbara Bush supports gay marriage, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says the GOP should spend more time on budget and economic issues and less time on social agendas and Sarah Palin’s poll numbers are plummeting.
Tea party supporters plan to rally in Washington today and some Republicans plan to stay away from the event, fearing that aligning themselves with the increasingly unpopular movement will hurt them in the next election.