By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
According to a new telephone survey by Rasmussen shows that views of the Tea Party movement are at their lowest point ever. Only 8% of voters now answered that they are members of the Tea Party. This is down from 24% in April 2010 when President Barack Obama’s controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed Congress.
According to the Rasmussen survey only 30% of likely U.S. Voters now have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party, while half (49%) of voters have an unfavorable view of the movement. Twenty-one percent are undecided.
Tea Party momentum helped the Republican Party take over the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 election, but even then the Tea Party received criticism as being too extreme. Tea Party supported candidates in Delaware (Christine O’Donnell) and Nevada (Sharron Angle) defeated much more mainstream Republican candidates in their states’ Republican Primaries; but were portrayed successfully as “too extreme” by their Democratic Party opponents in the General Election. Senator John McCain (R) from Arizona blamed the Tea Party for costing the Republicans the Senate in the 2010 election.
This same theme would be used by Democrats in the 2012 election. Tea Party supported candidates in Indiana (Richard Murdock) and Missouri (Todd Akin) upset “establishment” Republican candidates in the primary, but were handily defeated in the General Election by Democratic opponents. In Alabama Tea Party activists targeted incumbent Republican Congressmen Spencer Bachus and Jo Bonner, but Republican Primary voters in Alabama favored the more mainstream incumbents. Tea Party groups bitterly opposed “establishment” candidate Mitt Romney in the Republican Primary but failed to coalesce around a single candidate. Romney ultimately won and most (but not all) Tea Party activists eventually endorsed and supported the Romney campaign but despite that Gov. Romney managed to get less votes than Sen. McCain did four years and only North Carolina and Indiana defected from President Obama’s 2008 blue state coalition.
Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 Likely Voters on January 3-4. The margin of error is +/- 3% age points.
Rasmussen reports that despite the massive tax increase 53% of American still approve of President Obama’s job performance while only 45% disapprove.