Ah, the Tea Party. So reviled in the mainstream press. So marginalized by Congressional RINOs, Democrats and, of course, President Barack Obama. So…inconsequential.
Why, then, do polls consistently show the Tea Party’s influence to be more or less on par with that of the President?
The latest iteration of a Rasmussen survey that periodically tracks such things shows, once again, that the well-hated, amorphous conservative movement appeals to at least as many Americans as the President himself does.
From the report:
Voters are evenly divided when asked whether they agree more politically with President Obama or with the average member of the Tea Party. But an enormous partisan gap colors virtually all opinions of the Tea Party.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters think the president’s views are closest to their own when it comes to the major issues facing the country. But just as many (42%) say their views come closest to those of the average Tea Party member instead. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.
The survey collected the opinions of 1,000 likely voters between Oct. 26 and 27. The results reflect a small dip in the relative prestige of the Tea Party’s involvement in national politics; a similar Rasmussen survey done in April revealed more people who identified with the Tea Party (48 percent) than with the President (44 percent).
The gulf separating the ideological positions of Tea Partiers and Obama supporters is vast, though. As a recent Rasmussen poll demonstrated, “voters who approve of the president’s job performance were slightly more likely to consider the Tea Party a bigger terrorist threat to the United States than radical Muslims.”
The loyalty to both camps, predictably, aligns equally along party lines, with 77 percent of Democrats saying the President’s views most closely reflect their own, while 76 percent of Republicans, along with 51 percent of unaffiliated voters, saying they share more in common with the Tea Party and its self-identified “members.” That 51 percent is crucial to the future success of either political party – and despite what the mainstream media reports, conservative views are nowhere near the minority fringe of American political opinion.