Rasmussen: 29% agree with “Tea Party terrorists” depiction

posted at 4:45 pm on August 8, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

A majority of voters reject the depiction of Tea Party activists as “terrorists,” a new Rasmussen poll shows … but not a terribly large majority, given the ridiculously demagogic attack it represents.  Fifty-five percent say that the Tea Party didn’t act like “economic terrorists” during the negotiations over the debt ceiling and deficit spending, while 29% — more than one in four voters — see equivalency between the Tea Party’s use of representative government and, say, al-Qaeda:

Democrats and their media friends have charged the Tea Party with being economic terrorists during the congressional budget debates, but most voters don’t see it that way.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of Likely U.S. Voters, in fact, say members of the Tea Party are not economic terrorists. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 29% believe Tea Party members have been terrorists during the budget debates, while another 16% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Perhaps tellingly, while 53% of Democrats view Tea Party members as terrorists, 57% of voters not affiliated with either major party disagree, as do 74% of Republicans.

Interestingly, despite the 29% who claim that the Tea Party is a terrorist organization, only 43% think that they made the situation worse in the negotiations.  That mostly comes from Democrats (7/73), while Republicans are supportive of their role (53/17).  Independents are split evenly at 37%, with 14% saying no impact and 12% unsure.  That doesn’t indicate too much danger for the GOP sticking to Tea Party principles in the fight over spending and debt.

On the sales pitch for the Tea Party as a form of economic terrorism, Democrats seem to be ringing up mainly a No Sale.  They get a majority among self-described liberals, but not a terribly impressive one (55/31) and almost an even split among black voters, their most loyal constituency (45/42).  Independents reject it in almost the same ratio as the general sample, 21/57, as do self-described moderates, 29/50).  The negative gets a majority response in every age demographic, and majorities or pluralities in every income demographic, even the <$20K category (31/45).

The fact that they can even get 29% to agree that pursuing policy changes through representative government is akin to “terrorism” is depressing, but it has a silver lining.  It looks like Democrats and self-professed liberals are marginalizing themselves fast in this media meme du jour.

On that note, here’s a video from a friend of mine in the Twin Cities area.  Sunny’s production needs a little tweaking, but she captures the disconnect between this meme and reality, and the impossible nature of the sales pitch:

Breaking on Hot Air