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Poll: Do Tea-Party Challenges to GOP Incumbents Help Your Party? Poll: Do Tea-Party Challenges to GOP Incumbents Help Your Party?

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Political Insiders Poll

Poll: Do Tea-Party Challenges to GOP Incumbents Help Your Party?

For the most part, how helpful for your party would you describe tea-party challengers to Republican lawmakers?


Very helpful: 78%
Somewhat helpful: 17%
Somewhat unhelpful: 1%
Very unhelpful: 4%


Very helpful

"Looking for a Christmas present for Harry Reid and your liberal friends? The tea party is the gift that keeps on giving."

"The success of redistricting means Republicans now have a bench of elected candidates who do not understand the moderate swing electorate needed to win statewide in many states."


"More. Please. It may be the only way to save the Senate."

"Really? John Cornyn too liberal? Second-most-conservative member of the Senate!"

"We should be forming independent-expenditure committees and super PACs to support any tea partier interested in taking on Republican incumbents."

"Divide and conquer."


"Thank you, Steve Stockman."

Somewhat helpful

"They help in dragging the national Republican image away from the mainstream, but most of the challenges are in safe seats that Democrats are unlikely to win in the event of an upset."

"It's a mixed bag. While they help us keep the Senate, if they win, they keep us from doing anything productive."

Somewhat unhelpful

"Over the long haul, they inhibit the ability of moderate or just-right-of-center Republicans to engage in constructive government. Democrats do better when government works."

Very unhelpful

"They tend to make incumbents, who still have a vote, crazier, and can do damage."


For the most part, how helpful for your party would you describe tea-party challengers to Republican lawmakers?


Very helpful: 1%
Somewhat helpful: 10%
Somewhat unhelpful: 24%
Very unhelpful: 65%

Somewhat helpful

"In the long run, it's helpful since it forces senators-for-life to get back in touch with their districts, something Dick Lugar should have done long before there was a tea party."

Somewhat unhelpful

"Most are running against solid conservatives and distorting their records. They are an expensive and counterproductive distraction."

"Taking out safe incumbents borders on political stupidity."

"Politics is a game of addition, not subtraction. Tea-party folks don't understand those fundamentals."

"When tea partiers turn destructive, es no bueno."

Very unhelpful

"Let's shoot at the opposition, not our own troops."

"Groups like Club for Growth need to start targeting Democrats instead of Republicans. Fratricide is never helpful except to the other party."

"If tea partiers put 10 percent of the energy they put into beating up R's into going after D's instead, they could be a help."

"Most Republicans think they're idiots."

"Circular firing squads and the practice of eating your own hardly is helpful."

"This obsession with ideological purity is why we don't have Republican senators in Delaware, Missouri, and Nevada."

"The Republicans' civil war is consuming precious resources and fomenting intense distrust and demoralization. And for every Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, you get five Ken Bucks and Todd Akins."

"It's embarrassing to call John Cornyn a 'liberal.' Give me a break."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

This article appears in the December 14, 2013 edition of National Journal Magazine as Political Insiders Poll.

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