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Poll Shows Anti-incumbency Sentiment But Tea Party May Split The Vote

June 3, 2010 by  

Poll shows anti-incumbency sentiment but Tea Party may split the voteThe United States is entering the crucial stretch of the electoral process, with Congress members returning to their home districts to campaign, but polls show a strong anti-incumbency feeling. On the other hand, some surveys find that Americans are ambivalent about the Tea Party movement, and that the movement might end up splitting the conservative vote.

For example, a new poll from Harris Interactive found that nearly half of Americans (49 percent) say that almost everyone in Congress, including their representative, should be voted out in November.

On the other hand, while almost 40 percent say they support the Tea Party movement, only 10 percent describe themselves as a member.

Tea Party groups’ popularity may also act to the Democrats’ advantage, as the survey showed that in a two-party contest more than one-third of Americans (35 percent) would vote for the Democratic candidate while 28 percent would vote for the Republican.

However, when given the option of a Tea Party candidate on the ballot, a total of 35 percent of likely voters would choose the Democratic candidate, 19 percent would vote for the Republican candidate and 12 percent would opt for the Tea Party candidate.

The Harris Poll was conducted in mid-May among 2,503 adults aged 18 and over. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19811648-ADNFCR

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  • Donna Bell

    I voted in that poll and the wording was all wrong. The bottom line it that Tea Party people are voting for the more conservative candidates in the primary, but will vote for the most conservative in the general, whom ever the primary leaves. There is no Tea “Party” per se. It is an ideology motivated group, not a political party. It will not split the Republican vote.

    • Save America Susie

      Donna, I have to AGREE with you here. I think most Conservatives will pick whoever is the BEST Conservative Candidate who they think will have a CHANCE to win! It is not the time to be starting a new party. We may get another term of BO otherwise! That would be unbearable for Conservatives. Just like when Bill Clinton won because of Perot!

      • Save America Susie

        I realize the Republican Party has drifted away from some of its original principles, but now that they see the Light with the BO fiasco on our hands, I think it can be a NEW Republican party which desires to move away from the Progressives. I don’t think most people understood what the progressive movement was until this year even–and how it has been intertwined in our history for the last 100 years off and on in BOTH Dems and Reps parties.

        • Harold Olsen

          Have Republicans seen the light? I wouldn’t bet on it. RINOs like McCain only seem to see the light when they come up for re-election. He’s got a liberal voting record, siding the majority of the time with the left, but now that he’s up for re-election and practically getting his butt kicked, he’s pretending to be a conservative. If the voters are stupid enough to re-elect him he’ll just go back to doing things the way he had been doing them, siding with the left.. Now, I absolutely refuse to vote for ANY Democrat. I’m an Independent, but a conservative, and I only vote for conservatives and I do not believe there is any such thing as a conservative Democrat. Republicans, at least the ones currently in office, are, at best, left leaning moderates. There is not a single incumbent that I would vote for. In a two person race, I’d most likely vote for neither candidate if neither could convince me they were true conservatives. In Washington State, where I live, my reps don’t listen to their constituents unless those constituents agree with them. Two are up for re-election: Patty Murray, labeled the most stupid member of the Senate when she first got elected, and Saddam Hussein’s bosom buddy Baghdad Jim McDermott.

          • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Bruce D.

            I feel your pain.

          • Save America Susie

            Harold, I understand that it is hard to trust someone when they have done you wrong, so it is in Politics. But do we really want to take the chance that voting for a third party won’t give us BO’s 2nd term? (Like when Perot ran). I wonder about that a lot….

          • Denniso

            The point is that moderate and independent voters will not vote Repub if the nominees are arch conservative tea party people…that will help the Dems and will stop any Repub takeover of congress this Nov.
            Good news! Keep comming tea party people…

          • http://?? Joe H.

            It is estimated that a full 47% of the voting public either are members of the TEA party or support it!! you’re just praying out loud!

          • Denniso

            The so called ‘tea party’ is a flash in time and will be a distant memory in a year or so. And an estimated 47% of voters support the ‘tea party’? Who did the ‘estimate’? The ‘tea party’? You guys are going to implode w/ too much vitriol and extremism,luckily for the country.

          • http://?? Joe H.

            There you go day dreaming again!!!!

          • Steve

            Dreams is all dumbiso’s got in his hopey changie world Joe. There is no reality in his world ;-)

    • Harold Olsen

      Most surveys are worded to get the results they want. If you word a survey certain ways, you can get surveys that come up with the result that black people hate black people, Jews hate Jews, Democrats hate Democrats, Republicans hate Republicans, or whatever you want. They want to be able to interpret the results to get the results they want.
      Some site, like Polling Point, slant their questions to get the results they want. I took one survey on that site and gave my answer. The next question indicated that the answer I gave was the opposite to what I had actually said. So I went back to make sure I did not make a mistake. I didn’t. I quit the survey right then and there.

      Years ago on the Prodigy Internet Service, they came out with a member survey about Iraq. Clinton was president and he had come up with a plan for dealing with them. NO ONE, including Democrats, liked his plan. Prodigy’s survey asked the following question: “Should action be taken against Iraq?” The question said nothing about Clinton’s idiotic plan. Sixty-eight percent of the members who took the survey said that some sort of action should be taken against Iraq. Prodigy posted the survey results saying: “Sixty-eight percent of Prodigy members agree with President Clinton’s plan for Iraq.” There was an online uproar over this interpretation of the results and Prodigy did not allow members to criticize them so many critical comments regarding this survey result got censored.

      I don’t trust most surveys.

    • marvin

      Donna Bell you are 100% right, now there are the ones that will jump ship to run as an independent like in fla and al if they don,t win there party or fall behind, but as far as i know as a member of the tea party there is no offical tea party candidate, only a person backed by the tea party on their merit and their believes on subjects

    • Ashley

      Thank You –- people consistently make false claims about TaxedEnoughAlready people — freedomworks-org, resistnet-com/(NOT; friendsofthechamber-com are all good sources of information about TEA people, but many Americans’ still seem to believe mainly what they hear on common media – an easy search would explain what TEA people think — will people ever be critical, and get involved with controlling their future, that’s presently getting pillaged?

  • Glenn

    I Will vote for an american that will fight for american family and values ! NOT A PUPPET FOR THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM

    • Fred

      I agree with CJ. We need to return to the values of our forefathers and to vote in HONEST people who will look out for the country’s interests rather than their own personal reelection campaigns. No More Career Politicians & implement term limits. I know, I sound idealistic. Let’s get rid of lawyers in politics.

      • Harold Olsen

        I agree. The one thing that will turn me against a politician is when he says he is not a politician. Once a person runs for public office, that makes him a politician.

        In 2004 I almost voted for Republican Dino Rossi for Governor. Then, at the end of his campaign he ran an ad in which he said, “I’m not a politician. I’m a business man. I don’t need to be governor. There are other things I could be doing.”

        That ad told me that he was only running for Governor because it would look good on his resume. He really didn’t care about the State of Washington or its people. Now he’s planning to run against Patty Murray for the Senate.

        • http://?? Joe H.

          I hope you change your mind if we ever get a statesman running!!

        • http://?? Joe H.

          I hope you will change your mind if we ever get a Statesman running!

          • http://?? Joe H.

            didn’t go through the first time, and then again I guess it did!!

    • JC

      How about a bunch of Represenatives on the House floor that are independent and loyal to the Constitution? Even if the Dems got in again (they won’t with Obama) there would be an entirely new and brighter light shone on them and it would signal the end of this two party dog and pony show. We just can’t keep going back and forth with the red and blue hamster wheel. That’s how they keep us ignorant and powerless.

  • CJ

    All polls will ask the questions in such a way as to get the results the organizers want. And another problem about anti-incumbency is the “crop” of what’s available to replace them isn’t any better. We no longer are voting for the best person, but are voting AGAINST the worst. If you need to fix your car, and the only parts available are worthless or cheap, the repair won’t work and/or last. Your car is still broke. Before we can fix our broken government, we need a field of GOOD STATESMEN and eliminate the politicians and lawyers from running.

  • Antoinette L. Knowles

    I wrote on my website before the national Tea Party started that a tea party was needed. I felt the need for disguise was not necessary and I am glad so many have also seen the danger. However, I do hope that, as written, the Tea Party doesn’t split votes so that an incumbent is allowed to return to the corrupt Congress.

    • marvin

      only way the tea party can spilt a vote is in a three way contest like dem rep ind or some third party or like in fl a rep go ind to stay in

    • Jessica

      Antoinette, I hope you realize that the Tea Party is not a political party at all. It is a Movement. There’s a huge difference, because its
      members are from ALL political parties. Everybody’s sick of Washington’s games.

      • Joyce

        Yes, and the only way we are likely to end the politician’s Washington
        games is to elect someone who is not likely to be another brain-washed puppet for the new world order or one world global government.
        The only way we are likely to avoid this is to forget about democrats and republicans. Remember the bias in the mainstream media in the last election is what got Obama elected. Let’s not make that mistake again. Pay less attention to what the candidate says than you do to what he/she does and has done in the past, especially whether or not he/she has even bothered to read the Constitution, that all our Washington officials have sworn to uphold, but apparently don’t even know what is in it, because they are doing a very poor job of upholding it. Let’s let Madame Pelosi and all the others know that we are not kidding, when we ask: “Is this Constitutional?”

        Our answer to her should be: “NO, “We the People” are not kidding and you and all like-minded politicians have to go”. Let’s replace them with someone who cares about America and knows we only have 50 states, not 57 as Obama said.

        Work hard to defeat Obama’s plans for network “powergrab” because this
        is about our only source for some truth in reporting when it comes to
        evaluating any candidate now. As long as we can keep some truth in news going on line, we might even have to ask for a write in ballot
        to elect someone who isn’t even on the ballot.

        Washington officials swore to uphold

      • Ashley

        You are basically right, but not everybody’s sick of Washington’s games — the illegals, prisoners, naive that think this administration actually cares about the poor, or minorities — as always votes will be bought with promises of a handout, but the main objective will be power & control. Corruption in voting may have been a major factor in the last presidential election — it definitely seems voting corruption will be rampant in the next elections.
        Thank You for your post; you probably already know what I said, but others may not be considering this.

  • Norman F. Cates

    There is a web site that lists all the Tea Parties in the US that have web sites. I counted 2,068 sites from all over the country. Surprisingly, the most are in California (168). Then comes Texas with 150; Florida with 133, and Georgia with 118. Every state has at least 4.
    When a poll is taken the number (and people) called may not be as random as they say. The one mentioned here had few more respondents than there are Tea Parties, so I feel that the results are seriously skewed to favor the polling company’s desires. In short, I don’t trust polls. I do trust the Tea Party Patriots.
    If a candidate misleads the Tea Party they will be gone in the next election so their impact will be minimal.

  • http://gmail i41

    I think the Tea Party will make rinos run and real conservative oppents stand out. There is a lot of rinos that need to get out, like McCain and Snow, Gramisty, and Collins. Get some people with back bones. Kill the PC feel good bull in the beltway.

  • Sylvia Keppy-Dow

    I agree with Norman.. These polling companies I think they manipulate the polls to suit their liberal bias, so as to confuse the voters.. I have not been involved in the Tea Party movement, but I am glad that they are taking an active role in our country’s political landscape.
    People just need to forget about party names and vote their own convictions about who hold their same political conservative views. We need to send some of the incumbents home, based on their dismal performance while they have been in office and that would be whether Republican or Democrat..

  • Tea Party Tim

    A Tea Party canidate is not on the ballot in most States, so it would seem impossible to split the vote.

    It is my anaylsis of this poll, that given a choice most Tea Party members are convinced that if the direction of this country is not changed, that it is time for a third party to emerge. The Republican Party has the opportunity in the 2010 elections to conform to traditional, conservative beliefs that most Americans support. Although, it is possible that the Democrats could do this, it seems that they have spent their politcal clout on Progressive Socialism and it appears highly unlikely that they can change direction.

    This poll should serve to enlighten and empower conservative Republicans to take charge and redifine the parties platform.

    • RON HERT


  • Harold

    We had eight years under ultra conservatism and look what it got us. You keep going to the same dry well, you’re still going to get dust.

    • chuck b

      we have had 5 1/2 years of a democratic liberal congress and 1 1/2 years of a marxist president and look where we are now. in a mess like never before!!!

      • s c

        Chuck b, I don’t what mind-bending, immoral, illegal and dangerous drug that space cadet “H” has been smoking, but we’ve NEVER had an ultraconservative government in America. H, is yet another programmed, progressive, con artist plant on this website.
        If he wants to be a braindead, progressive robot, that’s his business (on HIS time, i. e.). But, when he responds to this website and can’t tell the difference between progressive oral flatulence and FACTS, it’s time to put him in his place (the nearest toilet).
        By the way, ‘H’ forgot to piss, moan and rant about 8 years of Bush (and Reagan’s influence on government and the economy).

    • marvin

      Harold you said we had 8 years of bush and he run us it that ditch obama is bragging about pulling the car out of and now he has the keys, so obama has train on the right track full speed ahead,amnesty bail out bigger goverment,buying of candidate,obamacare pass it to see what in it,incharge of oil leak but the only oil he know about is in his hair,if you don,t agree with his agenda they will get in your face, yep we are on the obama train full speed ahead with no brakes and the trussell bridge is out,i say befor you vote open your eyes and ears and read see what the candidate has said and done not what they say they will do all candidate lie but liberals don,t know the differance be informed

    • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Bruce D.

      The eight years you are referring to were not ultra conservative or even conservative at all. That is why the Tea Party formed. A conservative would never have given us Medicaid, The Patriot Act, or an expanding deficit. All expanded government power.

    • RON HERT


    • Ashley

      This administration has put us in unconscionable debt,
      –newsmax-com Debt Commission Leaders Paint Gloomy Picture 11 Jul 2010

  • marvin

    most tea party member are true americans that want a free country where the law is enforced equally to all not just gays and illegals and the elite, the has over the have nots, a goverment that works for you, not you working for them,one that will play the cards dealt and not try stacking the deck by buying off candidates,ever legal citizen in this country should be afforded the same rights this country was founded on work hard get ahead not have someone put ahead of you because of skin color, or sexual preference,or because you are doing it legally and some think they have a right to get ahead by doing it illegally,we don,t think are elected officals should be getting arrested for siding with illegal or try tell the people of any state they don,t have a right to enforce there laws,we don,t want or need the goverment to pass laws that make an immoral act legal do we care what you do in your house as long as both partys are agreeable and not with a minor no
    but don,t ask me to condone it,if it an,t broke don,t fix it what i am saying is, you fool me one time shame on you,fool me twice shame on me ,be informed the nut don,t fall far from the tree,if you like what you have vote to keep it, if not vote it ,them out

  • chuck b

    i posted this on another topic, and it may seem like an off the subject comment , however, this is probably the root of our problem at this time so take a look:

    • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Bruce D.

      I went to this site. I wish everyone in the country could see that presentation. Well done!

    • http://?? Joe H.

      chuck b,
      Thank you so much! I think I finally have a way to show my oldest who has been sliding towards being a bleeding heart where she is wrong!
      Thanks again!

  • Roylyn08

    I and many of my friends, (mostly retired military) have taken a vow.

    We will never support any candidate that has professed being a Liberal.

    We will never support any candidate that has professed being a Progressive

    We will not support nor consider any candidate that has claimed to be a Democrat until after 2013.

    We will not support any candidate that has a liberal background (I. E. McCain).

    We will never support any candidate that cannot support the Military, fully, absolutely and completely.

    We will never support any candidate that supports abortion – most of us are God-fearing.

    We will not support any candidate that does not support the constitution.

    Those left, we will very carefully investigate to make our choice.
    We must NEVER be allowed to have another political crisis such as we have right now.

    • Save America Susie

      Roylyn, Sometimes it is hard to see the Progressive in Sheep’s clothing though. Many have fooled us, because they don’t call themselves Progressives. And then they are already in office by the time we realize who they really are. Yes, I AGREE about the military being super-important. That is the mistake the Left ALWAYS makes. They sacrifice the military to balance the budget, and then they say “oh, look what we did! We balanced the budget.” What they did was open up the flood gates and let the enemy have more access, and weaken our armed forces so they are not as effective as they should be.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      God Bless you and your friends!!!

    • Bob Wire

      well they are all riding the Federal Dole ~ whatever blows their dress up!

  • Dave

    Why does this poll even matter? They have the Democrat wining any way you look at it! Like that’s gonna happen…HA! My B-day is right after the Nov. election, I pray I get a good conservative present.

    • Bob Wire

      You will Dave, more true conservatives in office. and McCain the Maverick will be gone! I’d like to see Mitch gone too ! we’ll see!

  • Joe K

    Ross Perot split the conservative minded votes and we ended up with Bill Clinton and his arrogant, unelected co-president, Hillary Clinton.

    After 8 years of the “most ethical administration in American History (Bills promise, remember?) Ralph Nader split the liberal vote and costs good ole’ world class shakedown artist, Al Gore the election while he and his vice presidential candidate insisted that every vote be counted accept of course the absentee military ballots. “Every dimpled chad every damaged chad and every chad you find on the floor was a vote for Gore)

    Personally, I happen to have a great deal of affinity and respect for the tea party ideology. But I think it is true, they will split the vote and it will be the conservative minded American people who will pay the price for it. Clinton won twice with only 42% of the vote when he ran against Bush 41.

    I would like to think that the solution would be as simple as doing away with the nomenclatures “democrat” and “republican” but then you’d still have the lying, cheating, ambivalent, power hungry politicians working both ends against the middle. This is why I generally tend to vote only for Republicans. I don’t have much faith in the party as a whole and I think it lacks real leadership, but, frankly, since I am in no hurry to have to wear a hammer and cycle arm band to avoid persecution, it’ll be a cold day in hell before I vote for a democrat.

    I used to believe in the old saying “I vote for the man, not the party” but one day it occurred to me that politics really is a team sport. To want conservative government and vote for ANY democrat is a lot like going to your sons high school football game and cheering for the quarter back on the other team.

    Unless the tea party can demonstrate that they have the power, ability and team spirit to win the game, I am sticking with the “home” team, win, loose or draw.

    Again, I am a Republican by default only, a refusal to support ANY democrat. If the Republican party had governed as they should have after the ’94 elections, the tea party would be unnecessary and unless they step up and do what they are supposed to do, the tea party will be the death of them and the liberals who love to call themselves “progressive” these days will win. If that happens again, American will loose, big time.

    • Save America Susie

      Joe…That is exactly my concern too! That the 3rd party or 4th party would split the vote and we would have the same thing we have right now. I love the spirit of the Tea Party, because I agree with their stand on BIG Government being too oppressive. But I guess time will tell.

      “Most bad government has grown out of TOO MUCH Government.”

      –President Thomas Jefferson

      Jefferson agrees with the Tea Party’s protest too!

  • wayne bauer

    I’m afraid we really missed it. I don’t trust the rino republicans, there are hardly any incumbants worth returning. Bachmann, ryan, only popular now. When the teA PARTY STARTED IF THEY HAD put together 3rd party we would be headed for total majority and maybe real candidates. We need to get away from the 2 party system the idiotic assignment and power systems of house and senate, and have real chance for real conservative candidates not obligated to anyone but voters. This illeGAL lobby money and all other bribes need to be eliminated from politics. We don’t need to see all these wASteful ads and bullshit for elections. We’re already paying for pbs use it one month before election and we’ll have all we need or want. How many of our legislators are working when they are all home raising money and lyin. The electoral system is a farce it’s unconstitutional as many voters have no input, majority votes throws all electoral votes in almost states, that’s all wrong. Proper leader could have accomplished this but we haven’t seen yet.

  • Melody

    Either way you look at it… democrats are scared. I possibly see this as the total destruction of the democrat party, a new and improved republican party, and majority politcal movement toward the TEA Party values. The minority parties could well be the democrat and republican party… with the majority be held by the Tea Party, the true representative of the majority of Americans…..the middle class!

    • http://?? Joe H.

      I hope and pray you are right!!!

    • Bob Wire

      Your vision is blurred and what the DNC got to be fearful of?

      Please tell us, I’d like to know so I “might” be scared too!

      • Steve

        (comment removed for offensive content)

        • Denniso

          Now that’s juvenile and stupid…you got that directly from your hero
          Limbaugh,and he’s a horse’s rear.

          • Steve

            Are you making posts under my name, and then responding to them under your own name so you have somebody to talk to?

          • Denniso

            You make an offensive comment that gets removed by the censor and you accuse me of doing it…typical rightwing trash.

          • libertytrain

            Denniso, sadly, I may have to agree with you on this one. Except for the rightwing trash comment. Both sides can be found guilty of that crud now and then.

    • Jessica

      The political elite of both parties are afraid of the Tea Party Movement. We came out of nowhere, with no high-profile leaders, and caught them flat-footed. And their ridicule, insults and libel didn’t dampen our enthusiasm. In fact, those things only made us stronger and more determined. Now their only recourse is to try to define us as a third party, in the hopes that we will split the conservative vote come November. Fortunately, the American electorate is much wiser and more politically aware than we were just a few years ago. We won’t get burned again. Count on it.

  • Pathfinder

    Actually it is the RINO party which splits the conservative vote !! Time to stop wasting your vote on a party that talks about smaller government while running for office, and then makes government bigger and more intrusive after the election is over. I will NOT support the republican party. I don’t want a third party. I just want a REAL second party rather than an echo of the democrats. Enough is enough !!

  • Bob Wire

    “MAY?” MAY you say?

    a little late don’t ya think?

    The way this has unfolded ~ allowing “nuts” to run your show.

    You have shot your foot clean off! and a threat to only sitting officials.

    which is good! ~ Maybe some real conservatives might be elected, while still unable to muster the votes for a national election victory.


  • Audry

    In order to strengthen the sentiment towards the Tea Party it should be focused on the financial aspects that have affected our economy. The Recession and the desire to not be like socialist Europe with high unemployment. There needs to be less religious sentiment as that is how the media is portraying the Tea Party as a radical religious extremist group. Whatever your beliefs are if you believe in God, Muhammad, Buddha, or none at all; in order to be united it needs to be focused on the most impacting issues that are truly affecting us. That is unemployement, the recession, taxes, and inflation. The reason why the left is still leading with the media and saying Obama’s polls are still high is because this needs to be less about One nation under God and focused on the financial issues that affect us all.


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