Remember when the media and the political establishment treated the Tea Party like a fringe group of lunatics that signaled the end of the Republic? Of course you do; it was just last week. But perhaps it’s the media and political establishment that have marginalized themselves as a result. Gallup’s new survey shows that almost three out of every four adults say it’s important for the GOP to account for Tea Party ideas in their policies — including a majority of Democrats:
About 7 in 10 national adults, including 88% of Republicans, say it is important that Republican leaders in Congress take the Tea Party movement’s positions and objectives into account as they address the nation’s problems. Among Republicans, 53% rate this “very important.” …
Although few Democrats (6%) are supporters of the Tea Party or even have a favorable view of it (11%), more than half say it is important that the Republican Party take the Tea Party’s positions into account. Why this is the case is unclear, although Democrats may simply feel that the opposing party should pay attention to all of its constituencies.
Perhaps underscoring the same principle, Republicans overwhelming feel their leaders should take the Tea Party’s positions into account, even though barely half are self-identified as Tea Party supporters.
I’d somehow doubt that Democrats are really all that concerned about whether the GOP listens to “all its constituencies.” Their party leaders and the media spend most of their time sneering at the “teabaggers,” and dismissing them as cranks, or worse. The flip side to this analysis is that 44% of Democrats would think it unimportant for politicians to pay attention to their constituents, which seems unlikely to be the case.
“New survey” is somewhat relative. While Gallup published these results today, the survey itself was taken between January 14 and 16, within a few days after the shooting in Tucson and the media’s rush to smear the Tea Party as an unindicted co-conspirator. If those numbers were ever going to suffer, it would have been that week. Yet majorities in all party affiliations think that their ideas deserve important consideration, including 53% of Democrats, 72% of independents, and 88% of Republicans.
Andrew Malcolm tells his colleagues to stop looking for the schism in the GOP:
Last week, you’ll remember, the “tea party” even had its own short response to Obama’s State of the Union speech, given by Rep. Michele Bachmann, who formed the House Tea Party Caucus, followingthe usual GOP response, given by Rep. Paul Ryan, who heads the House Budget Committee.
The dominant media theme, perhaps wistfully, was that this showed a split or, worse a schism, in the GOP. This despite denials all around and an impression among many who listened to the responses that Ryan’s broad overview and Bachmann’s detailed Perot-like charts complemented each other in a kind of Obama double-team.
The new Gallup findings seem to indicate that by a lopsided margin, regardless of their “tea party” impressions, Americans see such cooperation or teamwork as a good thing. Developing support for tea party positions as well as listening could augur large trouble for Obama’s reelect next year.
If the Tea Party has 53% of Democrats interested in its ideas, “large trouble” could be an understatement.