The tea party has gone cold

• Support for the Tea Party is ebbing across the country, according to a November 2011 study by the Pew Research Center. At the time of the 2010 midterms, 27 percent of Americans said they agreed with the movement, and 22 percent disagreed. Those numbers are now flipped.

• Headed by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), members of the House in 2010 formed a Tea Party caucus. But while the caucus has about 60 members, it has sat largely dormant, unable to play a prominent role in congressional proceedings.

• The Republican establishment, all too delighted by the Tea Party surge that helped hand it control of the House in 2010, has discovered just how difficult is to govern when a major part of its base places its allegiance elsewhere…

• In congressional races, where Tea Party candidates were leading the pack in 2010, they are struggling against establishment Republicans in 2012 primary races.

The Tea Party candidate is running behind more centrist Republicans in the open Senate races in Texas and Nebraska. In Indiana and Maine, Tea Party figures hoping to challenge centrist incumbents are straining to gain ground. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) was spared a Tea Party challenge from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R), and former state lawmaker and Tea Party candidate Dan Liljenquist seems a long shot to overtake Hatch.