Looks like the party’s over — and I’m not talking about the Tea Party. Democratic pollster PPP’s new national survey shows support dropping dramatically for the Occupy movement. In fact, it now ranks below the national support for the much-maligned conservative grassroots movement:
The Occupy Wall Street movement is not wearing well with voters across the country. Only 33% now say that they are supportive of its goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That represents an 11 point shift in the wrong direction for the movement’s support compared to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall Street’s goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42.
Voters don’t care for the Tea Party either, with 42% saying they support its goals to 45% opposed. But asked whether they have a higher opinion of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street movement the Tea Party wins out 43-37, representing a flip from last month when Occupy Wall Street won out 40-37 on that question. Again the movement with independents is notable- from preferring Occupy Wall Street 43-34, to siding with the Tea Party 44-40.
It’s not the only movement in PPP’s polling that favors conservatives, either:
The Republicans’ leader in Congress has far better favor with voters, but is still quite unpopular. Speaker John Boehner gets the nod from 30% of Americans and a thumb’s down from 46%, a five-point improvement from 27-48 last month.
If voters had to choose between the candidates of these two hated parties on their congressional ballot, they would tie at 45%, a three-point improvement for the GOP from a 45-42 Democratic advantage last month.
Why have opinions shifted so dramatically in regard to OWS and the Tea Party? The media coverage began to shift as the crowds got more out of control. Instead of talking about income inequality, media outlets were forced by circumstance to cover violence in Oakland and New York. The establishment of “rape-free zones” and the pressure on victims to refuse to cooperate with police became big stories, and those provided an entree to more media scrutiny of the use of funding in the movement, other violent episodes in the camps, and the general lack of a coherent agenda besides squatters’ rights.
Their sample certainly should have tilted this survey in favor of the Occupiers. Democrats comprise a ridiculous 41% of the sample, with Republicans slightly oversampled at 36% and independents far undersampled at 23%. In a sample weighted to the turnout model shown in 2010 exit polling, the Tea Party would actually lead OWS 44/35, and the generic Congressional ballot would be 46/42 for Republicans. On the better/worse question comparing the House GOP to its Democrat-controlled predecessor, the PPP split of 37/41 favoring the Pelosi-led 111th House would become 37/39.
As I wrote yesterday, the Occupiers have lost control of the narrative, thanks to their own excesses that even a friendly media could no longer ignore. They claim that they will move on to a new phase of the movement, but since the only coherent agenda they ever produced was squatting on public and private property, it’s difficult to see what improvement a Phase II could possibly bring.
Fear not, though, for the true believers, for they will remain as delusional as ever. Here’s one explaining that the Occupy Movement is more important than the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s:
Reality-based, huh? With sanctimony like this, who’d have guessed that the Occupy movement would become unpopular?