The Tea Party Shut Down the Government and All They Got Were These Lousy Poll Numbers

Support for the conservative grassroots movement has plunged to an all-time low, as even GOP voters have soured.

A crowd gathers at the World War Two Memorial to support a rally centered around reopening national memorials closed by the government shutdown, supported by military veterans, Tea Party activists and Republicans, on October 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. The rally was inspired by a desire to re-open national memorials, including the World War Two Memorial in Washington DC, though the rally also focused on the government shutdown and frustrations against President Obama.
National Journal
Alex Seitz-Wald
See more stories about...
Alex Seitz-Wald
Oct. 16, 2013, 1:46 p.m.

Like any game of chick­en, the gov­ern­ment shut­down was al­ways an all-or-noth­ing pro­pos­i­tion for the tea party. Now, with a deal about to be done, it’s pretty clear that what they got was noth­ing.

The move­ment, run­ning out of steam after the 2012 elec­tion, got a shot in the arm after the IRS scan­dal broke, then roared back to life to sup­port Ted Cruz’s de­fund-or-shut­down move­ment over Obama­care. For a mo­ment this fall, it even felt like a bit like 2010.

But un­like 2010, when the tea party helped Re­pub­lic­ans win 60 House seats, this time the move­ment has only hurt it­self—per­haps mor­tally. A new Pew sur­vey out today shows just how bad the dam­age is. The tea party is less pop­u­lar than ever, with nearly half of Amer­ic­ans hold­ing a neg­at­ive view of the move­ment and just 30 per­cent of Re­pub­lic­ans say­ing they view it fa­vor­ably. Just a third of GOP­ers say the tea-party move­ment is even part of their own party. 

Much of this col­lapse has happened since June, sug­gest­ing it was the gov­ern­ment shut­down that killed the beast. Demo­crats, Re­pub­lic­ans, and in­de­pend­ents all agree here.

And there’s now a huge split between tea party-Re­pub­lic­ans and non-tea-party Re­pub­lic­ans, re­flect­ing the split already vis­ible in Con­gress.

Nowhere in the Pew poll is this more evid­ent than in the num­bers for Ted Cruz, who emerged from ob­scur­ity to be­come the de facto lead­er of the right wing of his party. While his fa­vor­able rat­ing among tea-party Re­pub­lic­ans has ris­en since Ju­ly by 27 points—from 47 to 74—his un­fa­vor­able num­bers have ris­en 15 points among non-tea-party Re­pub­lic­ans over the same peri­od, from 16 to 31 per­cent.

Demo­crats were dinged, too, and Re­pub­lic­ans even more so, but the tea party got the worst of it.

What We're Following See More »
TAKING A LONG VIEW TO SOUTHERN STATES
In Dropout Speech, Santorum Endorses Rubio
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

As expected after earlier reports on Wednesday, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. But less expected: he threw his support to Marco Rubio. After noting he spoke with Rubio the day before for an hour, he said, “Someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS, real understanding of the threat of fundamentalist Islam, and has experience, one of the things I wanted was someone who has experience in this area, and that’s why we decided to support Marco Rubio.” It doesn’t figure to help Rubio much in New Hampshire, but the Santorum nod could pay dividends down the road in southern states.

Source:
‘PITTING PEOPLE AGAINST EACH OTHER’
Rubio, Trump Question Obama’s Mosque Visit
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore today was never going to be completely uncontroversial. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio proved it. “Maybe he feels comfortable there,” Trump told interviewer Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “There are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque.” And in New Hampshire, Rubio said of Obama, “Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.”

Source:
THE TIME IS NOW, TED
Cruz Must Max Out on Evangelical Support through Early March
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

For Ted Cruz, a strong showing in New Hampshire would be nice, but not necessary. That’s because evangelical voters only make up 21% of the Granite State’s population. “But from the February 20 South Carolina primary through March 15, there are nine states (South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina) with an estimated white-Evangelical percentage of the GOP electorate over 60 percent, and another four (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri) that come in over 50 percent.” But after that, he better be in the catbird’s seat, because only four smaller states remain with evangelical voter majorities.

Source:
CHRISTIE, BUSH TRYING TO TAKE HIM DOWN
Rubio Now Winning the ‘Endorsement Primary’
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Since his strong third-place finish in Iowa, Marco Rubio has won endorsement by two sitting senators and two congressmen, putting him in the lead for the first time of FiveThirtyEight‘s Endorsement Tracker. “Some politicians had put early support behind Jeb Bush — he had led [their] list since August — but since January the only new endorsement he has received was from former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that fueled by resentment, “members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt … Rubio’s rise in the polls.”

Source:
ARE YOU THE GATEKEEPER?
Sanders: Obama Is a Progressive
1 days ago
THE LATEST

“Do I think President Obama is a progressive? Yeah, I do,” said Bernie Sanders, in response to a direct question in tonight’s debate. “I think they’ve done a great job.” But Hillary Clinton wasn’t content to sit out the latest chapter in the great debate over the definition of progressivism. “In your definition, with you being the gatekeeper of progressivism, I don’t think anyone else fits that definition,” she told Sanders.

×