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Support for the party sits at 30 percent or lower and those who see the party in an unfavorable light often top 60 percent.
The polls offer little hope for the spate of Republican candidates who see the tea party as crucial to their election chances, including twice-failed Presidential candidate Ron Paul, the Texas Congressman who is often incorrectly cited as the “father of the tea party movement.”
The polls suggest that anyone who is identified as close to the tea party movement cannot be elected on a national scale.
An AP-Gfk survey taken May 5-6 shows tea party support nationwide at 30 percent while 63 percent describe themselves as non-supporters.
An NBC News Poll by Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff add more doom and gloom for the tea baggers: Only 26 percent consider themselves supporters while 62 percent said “no” when asked if they supported the movement. The poll was conducted May 5-7.
Other polls confirm the bad news for the tea baggers. A USA Today/Gallup Poll taken April 20-23 had 30 percent support for the party. A CBS News/New York Times survey from April 15-20 puts national support for the tea party at 24 percent while 66 percent said they didn’t support.
What happened? Writes Joshua Green in The Atlantic:
(The Tea Party) appears to have reached the limit of its influence in Washington. Here, where it counts most, the Tea Party is looking like a spent force.
There are a number of reasons for this. The outsized political personalities most closely associated with the movement have started to fade. Glenn Beck is waning. Sarah Palin’s presidential hopes are passing into rapid eclipse. Even Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota — founder of the congressional Tea Party caucus, heir to Palin, reliably batty provocateur, and once-proud supporter of the Ryan budget plan — has begun cautiously backing away.
She is doing so for the same reason as everybody else. The Tea Party message, so seductive in the abstract, can be deadly in its particulars to any politician seeking a broader appeal. As that doctrine is put into practice, even prospectively, voters are beginning to balk.
During the spring recess, for example, many Republicans went home to find angry constituents alarmed that they might lose their government benefits. In a special congressional election in two weeks in a conservative district in upstate New York, momentum appears to have swung to the Democratic challenger, who has mercilessly attacked the Republican incumbent for supporting the Ryan plan. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll shows that Americans’ views of the Tea Party are growing more negative, with 47 percent unfavorable and just 33 percent positive. No wonder Republicans in Washington are having second thoughts.
Bottom line: Turn off the stove. The tea pot has boiled over and even the steam is gone.