The demise of the Tea Party movement has been predicted since its inception in early 2009.  There has been a non-stop demonization of the movement led by Democrats and the media, but frequently joined by party Republicans.

There also have been many misleading headlines based on cherry-picked polling, as I demonstrated recently, Congrats @Gallup for inspiring these 5 misleading anti-Tea Party headlines.

As to the debt ceiling and budget showdown, you can find what you want in the polling to argue either side.

The AP-GFK poll just released found Republicans being blamed more than Democrats, but also found Obama’s job approval tanking.   A Pew Survey released a couple of days ago also found Republicans blamed more but by a closer margin, and that there is a large and growing segment who blames both sides or neither.

Here’s a headline, based on the data in the AP-GfK poll, you probably will not see:

Americans overwhelmingly would choose smaller government, fewer services

Yeah, you heard that right.  60% of those surveyed wanted smaller government, fewer services if the only other choice were bigger government, more services.  That core value, which transcends party lines, is the Tea Pary core value (not even the Republican core value).

 AP-Gfk Poll Q smaller government

Here’s another headline, based on the data in the AP-GfK poll, you probably will not see:

Most Americans agree with Tea Party on debt ceiling increase

You read that right.  41% of those surveyed said the debt ceiling should be raised only if conditioned on significant budget cuts plus another 10% who said it should not be raised for any reason. 

AP-Gfk Poll Q debt ceiling increase

I’m not buying the argument that Republicans are committing suicide, even when the argument is made by Republicans.

The polling is much tighter than in 1995, when public opinion shift dramatically against Republicans (although it swung back by the next election). From the Pew Survey:

Polling in the early days of the 1995 government shutdown was much more lopsided: For example, a Nov. 1995 Gallup/CNN/USA TODAY survey found more blaming Republicans in Congress than Bill Clinton by a 22-point margin (47% vs. 25%).

More disapprove than approve of the way that all sides – Barack Obama, Democratic leaders and Republican leaders – are handling the negotiations over the shutdown. However, the percentage disapproving of Republican leaders’ handling of the situation (69% disapprove) is higher than for Democratic leaders (58%) or Obama (50%).

Those Republicans are out of touch with Republicans, as a Pew Survey analysis released today shows.

Pew Tea Party Republican support

Stop with the taunts, the threats, and the name-calling.

You have shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive, toward the Tea Party movement.

We’re here.  Get used to it.

Update:  Thanks to Ragspierre in the comments for the link to this WaPo Monkey Cage Blog post, The conservative shift in public opinion has happened in all 50 states

This is a guest post by Cornell political scientist Peter Enns.

Recently on this blog, Larry Bartels drew attention to an astonishing fact: the public is as conservative as it has been in 50 years. To highlight this point, Professor Bartels presented the public’s policy mood — James Stimson’s measure of public support for government programs—from 1950 to 2012. In a recent article, Julianna Koch and I generated measures of policy mood for each state from the 1950s to 2010 (our measures our here). What we found is that the conservative opinion shift Professor Bartels highlighted repeats itself in every state.

This shift everywhere among the populace towards a more conservative, more Tea Party-ish electorate has been masked by the cult of Obama and the domination of a media driving an anti-conservative, anti-Tea Party agenda. Support for the Tea Party lags far behind support for the principles on which the Tea Party rests primarily because of intensive and vituperative attacks on the Tea Party.

This conservative shift is one reasons Republicans did so well at the state level, but get clobbered nationally. The Obama cult doesn’t work its way into local politics to the extent it does for federal races, and the national media doesn’t care as much about state races so it doesn’t swarm to take down state Republican candidates the way it swarms after Republicans for federal office.


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