Voters Have Increasingly Negative View Of Influence Of Tea Party On Congress

With the tea party and other right wing Republicans leading us on a path towards potential financial doom, including precipitating the recent downgrading of the nation’s credit rating, the question remains as to how this will play with the voters. The Republican strategy is essentially to use their power in Congress to wreck the economy as much as possible in the  hopes they can blame this on the incumbent president.

The poll cited in the previous post is an early indicator that the tea party strategy is failing. Another poll conducted by the Washington Post and Pew Research Center also shows decreased support for the tea party among Democrats and independents:

When the 112th Congress started in January, more Americans anticipated a positive rather than negative role for the newly elected members affiliated with the tea party political movement. Now, a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll finds public opinion tilted the other way.

In the new poll, 29 percent say congressional representatives associated with the tea party have had a “mostly negative” effect, 11 percentage points higher than the number expecting a negative impact at the beginning of the term. Now, 22 percent see a “mostly positive” effect, down five points.

Still, as anticipated in January, about half of all Americans say the tea party supporters in Congress have either had “not much of an effect” or expressed no opinion.

The see-saw in public opinion on tea party-affiliated members is particularly apparent among Democrats and independents. In January, 30 percent of Democrats and 14 percent of independents said tea party members would have a mostly negative effect; those numbers have jumped to 49 and 28 percent, respectively.

Republicans, by contrast, are little shifted since the beginning of the year. By more than 4 to 1 Republicans see tea party members as having a more positive than negative effect.