On November 29, Pew Research Center reported that since the 2010 midterm elections, the Tea Party has lost support nationwide and also in the 60 congressional districts represented by members of the House Tea Party Caucus. In what could be good news for Democrats in the upcoming election, the reputation of the Republican Party has declined sharply in Tea Party controlled districts and to a lesser extent across the country at large. It’s not surprising since the movement was never a true grass roots movement, having been conceived by corporate lobbyists as a way to further the interests of the 1%.
In the latest Pew Research Center survey, conducted Nov. 9-14, more Americans say they disagree (27%) than agree (20%) with the Tea Party movement. A year ago, in the wake of the sweeping GOP gains in the midterm elections, the balance of opinion was just the opposite: 27% agreed and 22% disagreed with the Tea Party. At both points, more than half offered no opinion.
Throughout the 2010 election cycle, agreement with the Tea Party far outweighed disagreement in the 60 House districts represented by members of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus. But as is the case nationwide, support has decreased significantly over the past year; now about as many people living in Tea Party districts disagree (23%) as agree (25%) with the Tea Party.
Republican party also losing favorability
According to Pew, the Republican Party’s image also has declined substantially among people who live in Tea Party districts. Currently, 41% say they have a favorable opinion of the GOP, while 48% say they have an unfavorable view. As recently as March of this year, GOP favorability was 55% in these districts, with just 39% offering an unfavorable opinion. Among the public at large, only 36% say they have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party, down from 42% in March.
The Democratic Party has lost public support but not by nearly as much. Nationwide, polling shows a drop from 50% favorable last summer to 48% in October. In Tea Party districts, only 39% have a favorable view of the Democratic Party, while 50% hold an unfavorable view. In other words, voters in Tea Party districts are now viewing both the Republican and Democratic parties negatively. Meanwhile, Democrats are holding their own nationwide.