- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 26, 2014

Though the news media and partisan critics continue to declare that the tea party is dead and irrelevant, a major pollster appears to disagree.

“Although the tea party has not been as visible in this year’s midterm elections as it was in 2010, tea party Republicans have given more thought to this year’s elections and are much more motivated to vote than are non-tea party Republicans or other Americans. About one in four Americans continue to say they support the tea party. Despite what appears to be a lower profile this year, the tea party wing of the Republican Party — about 18 percent of all national adults — remains a powerful force,” reports Gallup Director Frank Newport.

And the numbers: 73 percent of tea partyers are “extremely or very motivated” to vote, compared to 57 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of “non-Republicans.” Another 54 percent of tea partyers say they’re thinking “a great deal” about the midterms, compared to 31 percent of other Republicans and 27 percent of non-Republicans.

As they were four years ago, tea party voters remain opposed to big government, taxes and heavy regulations. Their gravest concerns, the poll found, are now the threat of Islamic militants, the federal deficit, government inefficiency, the economy, taxes and immigration — in that order. “Tea party supporters’ stronger motivation to vote underscores the group’s importance to the election outcome,” Mr. Newport observes.

STAND BACK: OBAMA CAMPAIGNS IN SIX STATES

Democrats are leery of President Obama’s dwindling approval ratings but are certainly eager for his fundraising. Mr. Obama — who is masking annoyance and appears game — will journey to a half-dozen states for the cause. So fire up Air Force One, and keep it idling.


SEE ALSO: Fauci: Quarantines could hamper efforts to fight Ebola abroad


On Tuesday, the president heads to Milwaukee for a Democratic National Committee “roundtable” at a sushi restaurant with ticket prices ranging from $16,000 to $32,400 — then it’s on to a campaign event for gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke and other Wisconsin Democrats. On Thursday, Mr. Obama heads to Portland, Maine for another “roundtable” plus rallies for gubernatorial hopeful Mike Michaud and state candidates. Mr. Obama spends the night in Providence, Rhode Island, attends an event at a local college, and will be back in the nation’s capital in time for the White House Halloween celebrations Friday.

Come Saturday, Mr. Obama journeys to Detroit on behalf of Rep. Gary Peters and his bid for the U.S. Senate seat, plus Mark Schauer, gubernatorial hopeful. On Sunday, it’s off to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to support Gov. Dannel Malloy, then it’s a quick jaunt down to Philadelphia to benefit Tom Wolf and his campaign for governor, plus other Pennsylvania Democrats.

For those still keeping count, that’s eight fundraisers in six states in six days.

GOP ON THE RAZOR EDGE TO WIN

“While the polls show President Obama isn’t loved even by his own party, only he can rally the Democrats to hold off the GOP’s Senate grab,” says pollster John Zogby, who doesn’t have the most promising news for Republicans either.

“I do not see a GOP wave coming in time for the November midterms, at least not yet. Can the GOP win the Senate? Yes. Can they win it big? Yes. But they are not there yet,” Mr. Zogby notes, adding that the impact of undecided plus “young and nonwhite” voters is still unclear. Meanwhile, an NBC News/Marist poll released Sunday gauging the excruciatingly close races in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, North Carolina and South Dakota bodes well for the GOP.

“The momentum in these races, however, has swung mostly in the Republican Party’s direction, giving the GOP a clear path to winning the majority,” says NBC analyst Mark Murray.

THE REAL BOOTS ON THE GROUND

Squawking about Ebola can be shrill, and authentic details scanty. Without much notice or fanfare though, the U.S. military presence in West Africa has been established, and the best words to describe it are “can-do.”

The Pentagon says that Army Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky of the 101st Division assumed command of Joint Forces Command in Monrovia, Liberia on Saturday; the name of the overall effort is “Operation United Assistance.” He joins Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, commanding general, U.S. Army Africa, who arrived in Liberia 40 days ago. Approximately 700 U.S. service members are now deployed to West Africa and they will number 3,900 in a matter of weeks.

The intrepid group has established three medical labs that can provide results in 24 hours; they have tested 1,500 patient samples and are now building a 25-bed hospital to be fully operational next week. The first Ebola Treatment Unit at Tubmanburg — some 35 northwest of Monrovia — is almost complete, with second and third treatment units due by mid-November, says Pentagon press secretary U.S. Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby.

“In Dakar, Senegal, Defense personnel are establishing a staging base and transport hub while the M/V Vega, a contracted vessel, has delivered 700 containers of support equipment for U.S. efforts,” Adm. Kirby says.

NO, AMERICA DOES NOT HAVE EBOLA HYSTERIA

The answer is no, not yet. Though National Institutes of Health infectious disease director Dr. Anthony Fauci, describes the nation’s reaction to Ebola as “an epidemic of fear,” cultural evidence makes it clear that there’s concern, yes, but panic, no.

A study of 10 days of Ebola coverage in major print and electronic media sources by the Global Language Monitor has found little evidence of “hysteria,” “hysterical thinking,” or “panic” but an overabundance of the words “fear” and “concern” reports chief analyst Paul JJ Payack.

“Since President Obama issued his warning on ‘hysteria and hysterical thinking,’ the media have taken up the cry, yet there is little evidence of any such reactions actually occurring,” he says. “However, we are seeing a very large uptick in references to ‘fear’ and ‘concern’ — and for good reason since nearly every projection on the course of the epidemic by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and the administration have proven false. The American people are seeing a large disparity between what they are being told, and what they see with their own eyes.”

Some news organizations were attuned to panic, the analysis found. The New York Times and Washington Post each mentioned “hysteria” nearly 10 times as often as the Dallas Morning News, which at one point was at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.

POLL DU JOUR

55 percent of Americans say Congress has accomplished “less than usual” at this point; 57 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 60 percent of Democrats agree.

52 percent overall say if Democrats controlled both House and Senate, it would not affect how many bills would be signed by President Obama; 61 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

41 percent say “too few” bills have been passed and signed into law by Mr. Obama; 31 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 56 percent of Democrats agree.

33 percent overall say it makes if “no difference” which political party controls House and Senate; 32 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 36 percent of Democrats agree.

27 percent say if the GOP controls House and Senate, fewer bills will be signed by Mr. Obama; 31 percent of Republicans, 27 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 992 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 19-21.

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