A potential split among America’s conservatives appears to be emerging as a pair of new Rasmussen polls indicates that likely Republican voters now outnumber the Democratic electorate, but the picture changes when the Tea Party movement comes into play.
The first survey—which is a generic ballot—found that 44 percent of respondents would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate, while 36 percent would cast their ballot for the local Democrat, according to Rasmussen Reports. These numbers have led some commentators to suggest that President Obama’s party may be in the worst electoral shape in a half century.
However, when the poll participants were asked about their preferences in a three-way congressional contest with a Tea Party candidate on the ballot, the Democrat garnered 36 percent of votes, while the GOP candidate’s support fell to around 25 percent. The hypothetical Tea Party candidate picked up 17 percent of the vote.
To confirm a growing split among conservatives, an ABC/Washington Post poll found that 35 percent of those who identify themselves as Republicans expressed favorable views of the Tea Party movement, and 40 percent saw it unfavorably.