Rasmussen: Tea party tops GOP on generic Congressional ballot

posted at 9:30 am on December 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Rasmussen has a warning shot across the bow of Republicans who may be feeling smug about the recent lead taken by the GOP in the generic Congressional ballot.  Most people presumed that the sudden reversal had more to do with Democrats than Republicans.  However, when offered a chance at a third party comprised of Tea Party protesters, Republicans fare worse than the alternative — and Democrats win:

Running under the Tea Party brand may be better in congressional races than being a Republican.

In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, the Tea Party comes out on top. Thirty-three percent (33%) prefer the Tea Party candidate, and 30% are undecided. Twenty-five percent (25%) would vote for a Democrat, and just 12% prefer the GOP.

Among Republican voters, 39% say they’d vote for the GOP candidate, but 33% favor the Tea Party option.

Fortunately, there is no such thing as a Tea Party, er, Party, which Rasmussen asked respondents to assume when answering this survey.  It would take too long to form such a party, and as the results above show, it would be a self-defeating process, especially in 2010.  A split on the Right would produce another Democratic victory at a moment when Congress desperately needs a course correction from its radical, statist path.

The news here is not good at all for Republicans, however.  Even registered GOP voters split 39/33 on whether to vote for a generic candidate from their own party.  This reflects the damage done to the GOP during 2001-6, when voters thought they were electing small-government, fiscal-restraint politicians, and wound up instead with porkers who spent hand over fist.  Democrats don’t have that same kind of problem; they have 71% of their voters locked in to the party, with only 7% favoring the Tea Party brand.  Independents, as noted above, are even less enamored of the GOP, favoring the Tea Party 33/12, with 25% going Democrat.

The key in 2010 is to have the GOP represent the Tea Party brand, and the only way to do that is to firmly insist on fiscal restrain and reduction of government as the platform for the election.  The Right needs to put aside all of its usual hobby horses and focus on the message from the Tea Party movement.  If they need an excuse, call it a moment of national crisis as the Democrats attempt a takeover of the health-care and energy industries.  The next election has to be fought on those narrow terms in order to bring the GOP into line with the tea-party momentum and unite against what is clearly a fringe progressive movement to massively expand an already-broke government.

If the Republican Party can do that, these generic numbers will become formidable.  If not, expect another cycle of loss and frustration.

Update: Tom Maguire gets the zinger of the day: “Tea baggers on top in a three way.”


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Very interesting. So it appears that the Republican Party is the third party that might spoil it for the Tea Party, not the other way around. Rush’s conventional wisdom about 3rd parties may have exceeded it’s expiration date.

FloatingRock on December 7, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Yep, the Triumvirate and the GOP marketers really need to get on board fast. We don’t have much time to organize the new party into a cohesive well oiled machine.

True_King on December 7, 2009 at 6:16 PM

This post reinforces my main concern for the 2012 election: that enough conservatives are going to indulge themselves in the “Third Party” fantasy so that we get perpetual donkey rule by plurality.

Hope-a-Dope is vulnerable and — given what he and his party are doing to the country — by rights a one-term president.

But never underestimate the power of purist conservatives to snatch defeat from victory in the name of “principles” that the donks will gleefully trample when the conservative movement fractures and hands them power.

Spurius Ligustinus on December 7, 2009 at 6:27 PM

poster above needs to wake up. Conservatives will beat Maobama if “purist” RINOS and Whigs don’t blow it by holding out for another wishy washy centrist. If they do, the loss in 2012 is on them. Read the poll, SP–your crowd has the least support. You are the minority faction of the opposition party. If you want to beat Maobama, you need to jump on the Common Sense Conservative bus, not vice versa. Don’t be a spoiler.

james23 on December 7, 2009 at 6:31 PM

Hey Republicans, don’t split the vote!!! Go third party or you’ll be responsible for more donkeys! Don’t you CARE?

It’s now on your heads Republicans… YOUR heads.

But never underestimate the power of purist conservatives Republicans to snatch defeat from victory in the name of “principles” “the same idiocy that got us here” that the donks will gleefully trample when the conservative movement fractures Republicans insist on stayin’ stupid and hands them power.

FIFY

Joy on December 7, 2009 at 6:37 PM

poster above needs to wake up. Conservatives will beat Maobama if “purist” RINOS and Whigs don’t blow it by holding out for another wishy washy centrist. If they do, the loss in 2012 is on them. Read the poll, SP–your crowd has the least support. You are the minority faction of the opposition party. If you want to beat Maobama, you need to jump on the Common Sense Conservative bus, not vice versa. Don’t be a spoiler.

james23 on December 7, 2009 at 6:31 PM

That’s a load and you know it. Most of the “conservatives” who blow this smoke up each other’s collective rumps are far to the left of me on most issues (like drug use, forign policy, and economic issues) but ince i won’t vote for a lefty fallangist like Huckabee I’m suddenly a RINO?

Last I saw it was “Conservatives” not Republicans going soft on Islamists, looking to pass weed out to children and crying over businesses daring to make a profit. All this RINO hunting will lead to Democrat victory which is exactly what certian so called Conservatives want because it helps their traffic and gives them an opprotunity to sell books or ads on their radio shows because the public isn’t fired up by a Republican in office.

I’m a proud Cheney Republican and I’ll not be dragged into voting for some Isolationist just to keep the peace with people in my party who won’t show me a modicrum of respect because i don’t go to church, cry over gay marriage or have a Glen Beck bumper sticker on my car.

Rob Taylor on December 7, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Rob Taylor on December 7, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Put the bong away. If you don’t see that there is a resurgence of Constitutional principles then please just don’t get involved. Don’t screw it up for everyone by pushing for another quasi-socialist like McCain.

True_King on December 7, 2009 at 6:57 PM

this poll shows that the GOP is facing the prospect of becoming the Whigs.

unseen on December 7, 2009 at 9:40 AM

I think that is exactly what is going to happen (maybe both parties, as funny as that seems), but I don’t think it is going to go through a third party stage. If the Democrats continue with their destructive policies I think it will happen fairly quickly but the Republicans have to adapt or be made irrelevant through inaction.

whbates on December 7, 2009 at 7:24 PM

Teed Off Party is more like it!

chickasaw42 on December 7, 2009 at 9:05 PM

Let us pray that the corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle are made irrelevant.

texanpride on December 7, 2009 at 9:14 PM

cs89 on December 7, 2009 at 4:54 PM

You just made my point. Regardless how many people show up for the book tour it says nothing about her chances to win a general election. So keep your sarc and use your head/

dpierson on December 7, 2009 at 5:17 PM

WOW!
I usually let others fight their own battles; but you, dpierson, just made a complete ass of yourself.

I don’t necessarily agree with cs89; but he made a brutally simple point, and you couldn’t even grasp it.

I’d suggest that YOU use YOUR head, but the saddest thing is that you DID — and it didn’t help.

Eyas on December 7, 2009 at 9:24 PM

I’m a proud Cheney Republican and I’ll not be dragged into voting for some Isolationist just to keep the peace with people in my party who won’t show me a modicrum of respect because i don’t go to church, cry over gay marriage or have a Glen Beck bumper sticker on my car.

Rob Taylor on December 7, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Look, you are going to have to face facts: RINO and Whig Republicans are a dieing breed. They are electoral poison. They are the minority faction of the minority party. Ergo, they aren’t driving the bus any longer. Their choices are: get on the conservative bus and support conservative candidates; vote for Obama (many of you did just that in 08, abandoning your fellow RINO Mr. McCain); or stay home and don’t vote. Me, I don’t give a dam what you do; but you’re not running the show any more.

james23 on December 7, 2009 at 9:49 PM

Did anybody show these numbers to Allahpundit? Isn’t he one of those “Republican light”s who think we should be more like the Dems?

Doesn’t this poll pretty much kill that RINO argument we’ve been hearing for the past 4 years?

rspock on December 7, 2009 at 9:59 PM

So……I take it we will soon be seeing posts by Allah telling Republicans to vote for ‘tea party’ candidates since voting Republican is only a vote that ensures a Democrat victory.

Like I have been saying all along – this is Sarah’s party now and the GOP better lineup behind her or risk getting run over.

Mr Purple on December 7, 2009 at 10:22 PM

The message that this poll sends is incredibly clear:

THE GOP MUST RUN A SOLID CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT IN 2012

There can be no doubt about this. There is no indication from poll numbers that a moderate in the mold of John McLame would have a chance of winning.

Nothing to it but to do it.

JaqobJackson on December 8, 2009 at 12:28 AM

The Right needs to put aside all of its usual hobby horses and focus on the message from the Tea Party movement.

Even though it seems meaningful fiscal restraint will require deep cuts in projected outlays for Social Security, Medicare, or both?

Kralizec on December 8, 2009 at 2:07 AM

Fortunately, there is no such thing as a Tea Party, er, Party, which Rasmussen asked respondents to assume when answering this survey.

People need to beware of Rasmussen and the clever polls he puts out.

Rasmussen is a dedicated Liberal-Progressive in his private life, and this poll is obviously his contribution to trying to get the various factions in the GOP to split even further than the current rift is causing.

By doing this specific poll with an imaginary third party that encompasses the Tea Party movement, and affiliating it with the Republicans, Rasmussen is attempting to establish the “Third Party” mentality more firmly than the supporters of Sarah Palin have gone to date. Plus, it floats the third party possibility with a name that will capture the spirit of the conservative protest movement currently happening: The Tea Party Party.

The Democrats are cooked in 2010, and quite possibly 20122 as well, unless they can somehow help to cause the break up of the GOP, and I’m convinced that’s the game plan behind the scenes. Look for not only Rasmussen, but the Legacy Media as well, to get serious and run with this ball for all they’re worth, since historically anyone running a third party campaign inevitably has damaged the chances of the major candidate from the main party with which the third party is ideologically affiliated.

If we have to turn over all of the GOP Congressional members whose terms are expiring in 2010 in order to prevent the Democrats from keeping/winning the Presidency in 2012, then that’s what it will take. But doing it via creating a third party is utter suicide.

KendraWilder on December 8, 2009 at 3:31 AM

I see no problem.

Just reject the bad and ancient incumbents and replace them with real conservatives. GOP should make it a point to BAN all Rs who will repeat the so-called Spectre-Scuzzyfuvah nightmares.

The goal of the primaries? Find the best conservatives have the integrity to serve the people as:

a) 100% fiscally conservative; >> Conservatism, Libertarianism, and Republicanism.

b) Will respect US Constitution wrt to social issues. >> Republicanism, Federalism, Respect of American Values and Libertarianism

And make sure that the primaries are FAIR, BALANCED AND PROMOTES ENTHUSIASMS.

Stop all these unfair/biased/self-serving endorsements by the club and brotherhood of good old boys incumbents in Washington.

TheAlamos on December 8, 2009 at 4:58 AM

The Dems have cleverly followed a strategy of dividing and conquering -black against white, feminism against men and family, society against the Church, unions against employers, the vast well off, against the evil rich, sexual license against morality, culture of life vs. the culture of death, young against old, small gov vs. big gov, property rights vs. the Kelo crowd, patriots against America haters, strong defense against the Lord Chamberain crowd, capitalism vs. the “tax them to death” crowd.

The GOP however, has used the opposite strategy, they conquer and then divide, by acting just like Dems when they accidently stumble into power.

Don L on December 8, 2009 at 5:46 AM

Watch out for the media pushing the idea of a third party. If Dems (and media) can split the conservative vote then they can assure a Dem victory.

We don’t need a 3rd party, we just need to strenghthen to GOP with true conservative ideas that will attract the Tea Party followers.

Splitting the GOP vote will ensure a Dem victory. Don’t be fooled again. Remember Bill Clinton’s 2nd election with Ross Perot as the 3rd party.

Lesson learned…

generouse on December 8, 2009 at 10:56 AM

RNC if you are listening (and I hope you are). The message is simple.

Obama and the Democrats of 2009 seek to obliterate the memory of Reagan, who famously said that Government is the problem not the solution.

Obama and the Democrats of 2009 (Reid Pelosi, Frank, Murtha, et al.) stand for the proposition that Government is the solution.

Simple message and wins every time it is tried. Try it.

Angry Dumbo on December 8, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Regardless, you think tea party identifiers are going to vote for any democrat?

Bevan on December 8, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Boy, this topic fled the front page awfully fast!

Eyas on December 8, 2009 at 9:18 PM

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