More people support the Tea Party than consider themselves liberal, and almost 3/4 of the electorate does not oppose the Tea Party.
That’s not the headline you will see, of course.
Instead, Gallup headlines its story about its most recent polling to emphasize the negative about Tea Party support, Tea Party Support Dwindles to Near-Record Low.
But it you look at Gallups chart, it shows a 2% drop in support for the Tea Party in the past year and a 2% drop in opposition to the Tea Party, and both are near record lows.
There’s only one brief time period when opposition to the Tea Party was significantly lower, but opposition now is right in the 25-29% range it’s typically been in.
Tea Party support is significantly lower than three years ago, but about where it was two years ago. So the drop took place two years ago, not recently as the Gallup headline (picked up in the mainstream media) would have you believe.
Why highlight just the drop in support? Because.
Moreover, the percentage of people who consider themselves Tea Pary supporters is slightly larger than those who consider themselves liberal, as measured in Gallup’s ideological self-identification survey from 2012.
Considering the multi-year war on the Tea Party by Democrats, many Republicans, and the media, it is astounding that the Tea Party continues to stay more or less even in its support over the past two years. A 2% drop is hardly meaningful, and could just be variations within the margin of error in the poll, which was +/- 3%.
Also consider that half the electorate has no opinion one way or the other. So put it another way, almost 3/4 of the American electorate is not opposed to the Tea Party!
Think about it another way, if you were at a dinner table with four other people who represented the American electorate, one of the people at the table would be a Tea Party supporter. And two others would have no opinion.
Be afraid, be very afraid.
Update: If Gallup wanted to be completely neutral, it could have written its headline as “Support and Opposition to Tea Party Stable.” Instead, Gallup’s anti-Tea Party spin is being picked up gladly at outlets such as TPM:
This is possibly the dumbest headline of all, from Taylor Marsh:
Right, no one supports Tea Party, other than over 1 in 5 Americans.