Democratic operatives would do well to soft pedal the “tea party is dead” narrative for now, along with claims that the GOP is divided between establishment and tea party factions. New poll numbers reveal that the tea party mantra of fiscal sanity, less government and lower taxes could be the very backbone of the Republican Party itself.
Support for the grassroots movement is now the “norm for Republicans,” says Kathy Frankovic, an analyst for the YouGov, which recently gauged public opinion on the trend.
“Although only a third in the public overall support the goals of the tea party, strongly or at least somewhat, two out of three Republicans are tea party supporters,” she says, noting that only 7 percent oppose it. The 66 percent who support tea party goals are extremely negative about government in general.
“Just 7 percent approve of the way President Obama is handling his job; just 9 percent approve of the way Congress is handling its job. Eighty seven percent would repeal the Affordable Care Act,” continues Ms. Frankovic.
Then there’s the engagement factor.
“But what sets the GOP tea party supporters apart is their attentiveness to politics. Sixty one percent follow news about politics most of the time,” she says, which is 11 percentage points higher than the Republican Party in general.