Two Polls Show Americans Prefer Occupy Wall Street Over Tea Party Two to One

With polls showing growing public opposition to the Tea Party movement, I had questions as to whether the Occupy Wall Street movement would receive public support. I initially suspected that most people might not pay attention to the views promoted by OSW and might be turned off by what might come across as another extremist group, especially with a word such as “occupy” in their name. Americans deserve more credit, both seeing through the misnamed Tea Party movement and showing support for the actual goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Two recent polls show a considerable difference between public opinion regarding the two groups.

Greg Sargent reported on one poll from Time Magazine:

Despite nonstop GOP and conservative disparagement of the Wall Street protests, the most detailed polling yet on Occupy Wall Street suggests that the public holds a broadly favorable view of the movement — and, crucially, the positions it holds.

Time released a new poll this morning finding that 54 percent view the Wall Street protests favorably, versus only 23 percent who think the opposite. Interestingly, only 23 percent say they don’t have an opinion, suggesting the protests have succeeded in punching through to the mainstream. Also: The most populist positions espoused by Occupy Wall Street — that the gap between rich and poor has grown too large; that taxes should be raised on the rich; that execs responsible for the meltdown should be prosecuted — all have strong support.

Meanwhile, the poll found that only 27 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party. My handy Plum Line calculator tells me that this amounts to half the number of those who view Occupy Wall Street favorably.

Think Progress reported on this poll as well as another poll with similar results:

The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that Americans support the Occupy Wall Street protests by a two-to-one margin (37 percent in favor, 18 percent opposed) while more Americans view the Tea Party negatively (28 percent in favor, 41 percent opposed). This means the Occupy Wall Street protests have a net favorability of +19 percent while the Tea Party has a net favorability of -13 percent…

Rush Limbaugh Declares Mitt Romney Is Not A Conservative

By conventional measures Mitt Romney looks like he should run away with the nomination. His victory remains in doubt because the current Republican Party is no longer a conventional political party. The domination of the party by far right wing extremists raises questions as to whether a candidate opposed by the far right can actually win. There was another setback for Romney today as the unofficial spokesman for the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, declared that Romney is not a conservative:

The reason is simple: Romney is not a conservative. He’s not, folks. You can argue with me all day long on that, but he isn’t. What he has going for him is that he’s not Obama and that he is doing incredibly well in the debates because he’s done it a long time. He’s very seasoned. He never makes a mistake, and he’s going to keep winning these things if he never makes a mistake. It’s that simple. But I’m not personally ready to settle on anybody yet — and I know that neither are most of you, and I also know that most of you do not want this over now, before we’ve even had a single primary! All we’ve had are straw votes. You know that the Republican establishment’s trying to nail this down and end it. You know that that’s happening, and I know that you don’t want that to happen, and neither do I.

Now, as for Romney — and you should know, by the way, that I’ve met Romney. I’ve not played golf with him but I’ve met him, and I like all of these people. This isn’t personal, not with what country faces and so forth. I like him very much. I’ve spent some social time with him. He’s a fine guy. He’s very nice gentleman. He is a gentleman. But he’s not a conservative — and if you disagree, I’m open. The telephone lines are yours. Call and tell me what you think it is that makes him a principled conservative, what exactly is it. Is there something that he has said that shows conservative, principled leadership? What did he say? I’m open to it.

As a sign of how rapidly the conservative movement has been moving to the right, back in 2008 Rush Limbaugh endorsed Romney. Jame Joyner has a post on the changing definition of conservative, using this as one example. He also cited David Frum’s decision to leave NPR’s Marketplace, no longer feelling he could represent the current conservative movement:

He made his name as a conservative opinion writer at The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the The American Spectator. His first book, Dead Right (1994), was described by William F. Buckley as “the most refreshing ideological experience in a generation.” A speechwriter to President George W. Bush, he penned the infamous phrase “axis of evil.” And he was a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute from 2003 until he was fired last March.

But now he’s so far outside the American conservative mainstream that he’s routinely vilified as a Republican in Name Only and a traitor to the movement.

Joyner had another example of a former conservative hero who no longer fits in:

As many have noted, while conservative politicians constantly reference Ronald Reagan’s legacy as the gold standard, it’s arguable whether the Gipper himself would pass tea-party muster. After all, he signed a huge amnesty bill for illegal aliens into law and his signature tax cut left the top marginal rate at 50 percent. As we all know, anything above 35 percent is socialism.

While the Republican move to the right has been more rapid in recent years, this has been occurring for quite a long time. Even Barry Goldwater considered himself a liberal in his later years, appalled by how far right the Republicans had moved in his lifetime.