Tepid in the Teapot?Politics

American opinion of the Tea Party movement has cooled.

Of course it could just be that this is an off year and there are no federal elections this year. Then again, the Tea Party was born in an off year.

A new CNN/Opinion Research corporation poll released Wednesday, show that favorable opinion of the Tea Party now rests at 32 percent, the lowest in two years. That’s down from 37 percent in December.

Politico: Poll: Americans cooling on tea party

  • Valentinus

    Thanks Ward for giving us a CNN poll. We are so impressed. Why not a poll from the NY Times? How about something from Organizing for America? They have polls too.

  • Mike Barrett

    Yes, and if their allies in Congress force a government shut down, creating the potential for a double dip and a return to recession, how far will they then fall in the polls?

    As a business person, I am pleased that our economy is out of recession, growing at a respectable rate, jobs are being created, unemployment is decreasing, corporate profits are way up, consumer spending and confidence are both much better, and business confidence is quite high. In other words, a solid foundation for future growth and prosperity.

    The last thing we need is the self inflicted disruption that the Tea Party and their allies in Congress appear willing to create. Frankly, growth and development are the pressing issues right now, not deficit reduction. If conservative social issues and a rabid Tea Party cause a government shut down, there is no doubt where the american people will place the blame. Perhaps many already have.

  • Jamie Jacoby

    I thought trolls replied to posts, not wrote the original posts.

  • Jamie Jacoby

    As a business person, I am pleased that our economy is out of recession, growing at a respectable rate, jobs are being created, unemployment is decreasing, corporate profits are way up, consumer spending and confidence are both much better, and business confidence is quite high. In other words, a solid foundation for future growth and prosperity.

    OMG are you serious? 11% of GDP deficit spending results in 2.3% GDP “growth”? Can you tell us what the math means? Or is it your position that these deficits are sustainable and a viable indicator of a solid foundation for future growth and prosperity?

    OMG, we are so doomed.

  • http://www.newrepublicpatriots.com/index.html marshall

    Mike barret what effing planet do you live on?

  • http://bearingdrift.com Ward Smythe

    @Valentinus, thanks for giving us your opinion of CNN. But this is not a poll. It’s a post about a poll that just happened to come out this week. I looked for current polls from other sources. I found none.

    If you have some, send ‘em to us, and we’ll post ‘em.

  • Mike Barrett

    Look Marshall, I know most herein are political junkies and ideologues who really give not one wit about governance but pay close attention to politics. Perhaps my last post, which essentially is an appeal not to upset the apple cart, is disturbing to you. It certainly does not fit the ideological purity set out here by most posters. But frankly, most of them have jobs, 401ks, they have families to support and careers to build, and the performance of our economy has impact on their personal lives. It was not too long ago that republicans stood for growth and prosperity, for vital cooperation between the public and private sectors to promote economic development. Now, the major principle in effect seems to be to defeat the President, no matter the impact on our well being. A government shut down over irrational cuts and social imperatives by the far right has the potential to disrupt the recovery which is gaining steam. I simply don’t want that to happen for business and personal reasons.

  • HisRoc

    Mike Barrett,

    Exactly what is “ideological” about opposing a national debt that is equal to the annual GDP? We taxed and spent our way into this situation. We can’t tax and spend our way out of it. The Federal government spends way too much money and the upper middle class already pays taxes that are far disproportionate to their income and representation in the population. I want to punch someone out when I read the idiotic suggestion, “make the wealthy pay their fair share.” No, I want the uneducated, illegal, trans-generational poverty baby-machine charity cases to pay THEIR fair share of housing, education, health care, social services, and public safety.

    How’s that for “ideology?”

  • Valentinus

    Dear Ward,

    I have no problem about you posting a blog about the Tea Party. I have no problem with you expressing criticisms of the Tea Party. I have no problem you opposing the Tea Party. Just make it your thoughts and your ideas. Don’t hide behind a partisan poll designed for a Harry Reid soundbite. We all know that there are polls designed to get an accurate snapshot of public opinion. Most of those are private. The vast majority released to the public are designed to shape opinion not reflect it. The poll you cite definitely falls in the latter category.

  • Mike Barrett

    As I said, republicans in the last administration argued that the deficit was simply unimportant, that growth would wipe it out. I believe it was the Vice President who made that statement. It has only been recently that the ideological shift has occured. Regretfully, we have proof in the performance of economies that have instituted austerity measures that spending cuts now cause economic activity to become distressed as unemployment worsens. We simply do not need that disruption now. We need to continue the growth and development of the last few years, watching it continue to accelerate as our GDP increases as politicians agree on long term solutions to the deficit and the debt. Each in turn, and we will recover and prosper.

  • Jamie Jacoby

    the growth and development of the last few years, watching it continue to accelerate as our GDP increases

    Did you miss all of my above, or did you merely choose not to read it or reply? We deficit-spend (borrow and spend) the equivalent of 11% of GDP, and then declare the resulting 2.3% increase in GDP to be “growth.”

    Who is fooled by that? Are you?

    …as politicians agree on long term solutions to the deficit and the debt.

    Whatcha smokin’ there, son?

  • HisRoc

    Valentinus,

    I agree that there are partisan polls designed to influence public opinion. We have all been on the receiving end of robocall push polls during election season. However, CNN is not a push poll. It is one of many national polls like Gallup, Washington Post-ABC News, and WSJ-NBC that most observers on both ends of the political spectrum agree are generally unbiased. Rasmussen has been accused of right-wing bias, but objective evaluations of its polling compared with actual election outcomes indicates that it is not. Now then, if you believe that polling data can actually change voting intentions then you probably would agree that the media controls popular opinion in this country. I give Americans much, much more credit than that.

    Mike Barrett,

    What Jamie said.

    You can’t increase the national debt by double digits and expect single-digit GDP growth to pay it off. You just can’t get there from here.

    “Regretfully, we have proof in the performance of economies that have instituted austerity measures that spending cuts now cause economic activity to become distressed as unemployment worsens.”

    You don’t name the economies you are referencing, so I will: Greece and Portugal. Both tried to tax and spend their way out of a declining economic growth pattern and went bankrupt. The EU had to bail them out.

  • ceara sullivan

    The Tea Party will self-activate when the need for action becomes necessary. For example: when the Dems nominate the late and unlamented Perriello (it’s still a thrill to say our FORMER Congresspersonage) for Webb’s Senate seat.

    Just watch the Tea Party resurrect and expand like one of those miracle sponges. We won’t have to wait for the Invertebrate Republicans to begin an ABP initiative…Anybody But Perriello.

  • Valentinus

    HISROC,

    I’m not referring to outright fraud such as with the Daily Kos or oppo research. Even leaving aside the nature of the sample, I can get almost any result I want by the phrasing of questions, the order of questions, the number of questions and even the timing of the polls. It takes a lot of effort to control for the profound influence of these subtle appearing factors. The index of a pollster is how well they predict behavior in the real world. Only Rasmussen has an outstanding track record among the public pollsters as far as I’m aware. If a left wing pollster had an outstanding record in such prediction I wouldn’t argue it. IMHO CNN did this poll at the behest of the DNC to help Schumer out on the sly for the budget battle but he spilled the beans. It has no relevance at all since there is no Tea Party in Congress and the Tea Party wasn’t on the ballot. Even without any Tea Party I assume Repubs would have been in favor of the miniscule cuts they are proposing. Do you think CNN will do a similar poll on left wing groups like media matters or on union protesters?

  • HisRoc

    Valentinus,

    “Do you think CNN will do a similar poll on left wing groups like media matters or on union protesters?”

    They did:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/01/polls-more-support-for-unions-in-wisconsin-labor-battle/

    and the results were the same as USA Today/Gallup, NY Times, and other national polls.

    Look, the Tea Party Movement needs a make-over. When your face to the public is such moronic figures as Michelle Bachmann and Caribou Barbie, then you are going to have an image problem. It is just that simple and pollsters don’t need to cook the results.

  • John Jackson

    Oct 27-30, ’10, Dems outpolled Repubs 46% to 44%,
    Nov 11-14, ’10, Dems outpolled Repubs 46% to 43%

    Nuff said! This propaganda has got to quit.

    With the debt limit vote coming up, this is clearly a poll to influence the Republicans against its Tea Party members.

  • HisRoc

    JJ,

    What polls are you referencing? Gallup and all the other national polls showed the generic Republican Congressional candidate ahead of the Democratic candidate by double digits last fall. November 4th was a surprise to no one, with the possible exception of Nancy Pelosi.

  • Darrell

    Actually the new recruits to the grassroots of the Tea Party is a little busy right now. They are gathering their pitchforks and posters for the annual gatherings of local politicians. The topic of discussion across this great land? Tax increases. Check out the comments in today’s VP for a local perspective of this year’s growing political tsunami.

  • Valentinus

    HISROC I need to be on my toes with you. I should have amended that statement into “Do you think CNN will run that poll if they can’t come up with a result to fit the talking points.”

    The point is that there are Republican, Democrats, Independents and one Socialist in Congress. I’m not aware of any other Parties there. The poll should have been on the details of the budget fight which is the only real world action going on here. CNN will only run that poll if they think they can come up with a result pleasing to the DNC. The ideas espoused by the “Tea Party” folks used to be called Reaganism for the most part. If the “Tea Party” or the “Socialist Party” go away does that change anything if such people continue to vote as a group?

    Lastly, the Tea Party is a mostly grassroots and loosely organized movement which is detested by both major parties. They are not in a great position to determine which politician will or will not be permitted to invoke the Tea Party name. The media will determine who “speaks” for the Tea Party until they get their own TV network and billion dollar bankroll.

  • trojanwife

    Whenever the left is frightened by someone or some movement (in this case, the Tea Party) they do something to discredit it. Look at who or what they attack the fiercest, and you will see who is gaining on them. It’s always the same. Read the play book…Alinsky puts it all out there. Be vigilant.

  • Ghost of Ted Dalton

    The problem for the Tea Party is not CNN. It is the Bachmanns of the world. As with every major movement, it’s quite clear that the GOP is slowly making the Tea Party irrelevant by becoming the face of the movement.

    I think this poll is pretty indicative of American feelings towards the Tea Party. I don’t think it’s perceived as “independent” any longer as you see more and more GOPers take the label. And if you’re a true Tea Partier, it probably is time to move on to forming something different. Because if there is one lesson in modern American politics it is this: once you become part of the GOP or the Democratic Party, you’re part of the problem. It’s hard to argue with the proposition that the Tea Party becomes less popular by the day as it becomes more and more associated with the GOP.

  • John Jackson

    HisRoc,
    I’m using the CNN poll Ward Smythe is using so they didn’t get the memo on the landslide. That was my point, the poll is propaganda.

    As for CNN, this is not the first time they promoted propaganda
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTJ8hSiGUMg

    While most of these groups have been organized for years, the Tea Party is just a couple years old and we’re treated with such bias because we’re conservatives.
    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-02-17/politics/tea.party.poll_1_tea-party-third-party-gop-candidate?_s=PM:POLITICS

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-12/living/coffee.party.people_1_tea-party-political-woodstock-memories?_s=PM:LIVING

    CNN is just as biased as any other left wing hack media. It is evident as they portrayed the Coffee Party as your everyday American whereas the Tea Party is portrayed as just another statistic. Provided links to demonstrate the bias.

    I never believed that people who could align with the Tea Party principles could be so harsh with people in their own corner. This is what I do not understand with the Bearing Drift crew. Why?

    Could someone explain why such the hate for a group that just wants to get rid of a $1.5 trillion deficit and work on a $14+ trillion debt? Our President released a budget that had a deficit for the remainder of the decade. I’m having problems understanding how we can spend money we don’t have?

  • John Jackson

    HisRoc,
    I’m using the CNN poll Ward Smythe is using so they didn’t get the memo on the landslide. That was my point, the poll is propaganda.

    As for CNN, this is not the first time they promoted propaganda
    youtube.com/watch?v=CTJ8hSiGUMg

    While most of these groups have been organized for years, the Tea Party is just a couple years old and we’re treated with such bias because we’re conservatives.
    articles.cnn.com/2010-02-17/politics/tea.party.poll_1_tea-party-third-party-gop-candidate?_s=PM:POLITICS

    articles.cnn.com/2010-03-12/living/coffee.party.people_1_tea-party-political-woodstock-memories?_s=PM:LIVING

    CNN is just as biased as any other left wing hack media. It is evident as they portrayed the Coffee Party as your everyday American whereas the Tea Party is portrayed as just another statistic. Provided links to demonstrate the bias.

    I never believed that people who could align with the Tea Party principles could be so harsh with people in their own corner. This is what I do not understand with the Bearing Drift crew. Why?

    Could someone explain why such the hate for a group that just wants to get rid of a $1.5 trillion deficit and work on a $14+ trillion debt? Our President released a budget that had a deficit for the remainder of the decade. I’m having problems understanding how we can spend money we don’t have?

  • Darrell

    “I’m having problems understanding how we can spend money we don’t have?”

    This guy seems to know the scam.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/30/opinion/30barofsky.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=barofsky&st=cse

  • http://www.advrider.com James “turbo” Cohen

    John, denial runs rampant through republican circles.. Big government tendencies are not limited to democrats. Follow the moneytrail and it stops at bribes for re election coffers. Until and unless we end campaigning while holding office the bribery and big spending will continue. Short of that we need to limit corporate and offshore donations to office holders/seekers as well as self funding limits. Yeah right, like thats going to happen lol..

  • John Jackson

    Turbo and William,
    I agree with you both. Last night, Obama made $1.5M off his banker bailout money. $30.8K a plate! Man, he made a killing.

    As you look at what got us here, I question where we’re going. How does a President that proposed a deficit for the remainder of the decade turn that around? Answer: he can’t but we need to get him out.

    But the Republicans continue to mock and make fun of the Libertarian’s and Tea Party’s (my) beliefs and values. Doesn’t make sense to me.

  • Valentinus

    JJ,: “Could someone explain why such the hate for a group that just wants to get rid of a $1.5 trillion deficit and work on a $14+ trillion debt? ”

    Apart from the unwanted competition for political offices, the major parties are perplexed by people or groups who want them to “Do Less” and whose satisfaction depends on Less spending rather than more. The Dems have ejected all such groups from their party. At least for the moment, the Repubs actually should get some credit for going along even a bit with such an unnatural action as they see it. The best that can be hoped for is that Federal domestic programs are mostly returned to the states and localities. It would be historic if that actually happens. The brontosaurus was not known for sharing its pile.

  • http://www.shaunkenney.com Shaun Kenney

    Look on the bright side of this poll — the Tea Party is still 3x more popular than Congress!

  • John Jackson

    Val,
    Actually, my beef is with the media, along with the liberal newspapers that give groups like the Sierra Club, Code Pink, PETA and Charlie Sheen legitimacy.

    What an heroic thing those Nuclear Plant workers are doing. They are guaranteed a sure death to help their fellow Japanese. The media covers radiation levels in California.

    Just as they did with the BP oil spill. Because it fits the agenda.

    The Republicans could align themselves with the Tea Party (and Libertarians). Instead, they attack these groups actually alienating themselves from potential allies. It’s as though I’m watching a murder-suicide.

  • http://www.thewritesideofmybrain.com Michael

    @John Jackson

    The Tea Party could align themselves with the Republicans (and Libertarians). Instead, they attack these groups actually alienating themselves from potential allies. It’s as though I’m watching a murder-suicide.

  • John Jackson

    Michael, Huh? You cannot take a $1.6T deficit and cut $33B from it and claim victory…

    The Tea Party may as well join the Democrats then we wouldn’t get so much crap. Heck, we’d even get some money.

  • John Jackson

    Actually, I had to come back and revisit your statement. The reason I say this is because with the Republicans (or at least here) my ideals are treated as they are draconian.

    My recommendations are mocked.
    Our approach is made fun of.
    and it appears that some of the Republicans feel that we must get in lock step with their ideas.

    As a conservative, I’m not about blindly following someone into the abyss as the Democrat constituency does. It’s not about who you are…it’s about what your presenting. We’re about principles of rebuilding this country to where we have a balanced budget and our debt is paid off.

    But for some reason, Republicans think that this thought is out of reach. Until they believe that a balanced budget and a paid off debt can be accomplished then I guess we’ll continue to be at odds.

  • Steve Vaughan

    This poll isn’t very surprising. Outside the political blogosphere, in the greater realm of “all Americans,” which polls are generally trying to measure, the Tea Party is associated with Palin, Bachman, O’Donnell, etc. They are seen as extremists who are’t willing to compromise to get things done. Look at Palin’s favorable ratings in the most recent objective polls. About a third, about the same as the Tea Party.

  • Mike Barrett

    Well John, no one disagrees that the goal ought to be to wipe out the deficit and decrease the national debt, exactly what happened when President Clinton and the republican Congress did exactly that. The point is, to recover from a Great Recession takes time and government stimulus. But there will be a time, say 2013, when the big drivers, ie entitlements like SS, Medicaid, and Medicare, defense, corporate tax breaks, and tax rates that have to be dealt with. No one I know disagrees that has to occur; it is the timing and the way we go about this to ensure investment in our future prosperity that is under discussion.

  • http://www.littledavidobermark.blogspot.com/ LittleDavid

    OK, we need to wipe out the deficit.

    I am confounded by the supposed wisdom I hear. We need to keep helping the wealthier get wealthier and we need to grind the middle class into the lower class.

    Isn’t this a Democracy? Doesn’t the wealthy class have to deal with a majority vote? If the majority is forced into poverty should we not expect some throw back at the polls?

    I guess due to the Republican ideals, the majority is expected to live with less while the tiny minority lives with more.

    Have you heard about the new Tea Party members in House of Representatives? Evidently they are having a problem with living within their new found wealth. They get paid $170k but if the government shuts down they think they can not survive not having their salary paid.

    I am not sure why they think they are so special. If we are going to cut off wages to government employees I think they should be the first to deal with the pain.

  • HisRoc

    Little David,

    I think that we have had this conversation before, but here it goes again.

    It is a canard–no let’s call it what it really is–a liberal lie to claim that the wealthy are getting wealthier while the middle class is getting poorer. The median income in the United States has constantly increased from 1975 through 2007. It slumped in 2008 and began recovering again in 2009 and 2010.

    The median income is the income that 50% of the population earns more than and 50% of the population earns less than. It is statistically impossible for wealth to accumulate among a few people at the higher income levels and income to decrease at the middle levels and still have the median income rise.

    This entire fiction of middle class income decreasing while the wealthy are getting wealthier is an excuse to raise taxes on the small minority who already pay 60% of all the tax dollars collected today. It is a thinly disguised attempt at confiscatory redistribution of wealth by the government. And it sucks.

    Go ahead. Promote class warfare and economic retaliation at the polls. Watch wealth flee the country and take all the middle class jobs with it. That is precisely what happened after every Communist revolution in the 20th Century, from Russia to Cuba. You, my friend, will go from driving an 18-wheeler to pushing a shopping cart filled with all your belongings.

  • http://www.littledavidobermark.blogspot.com/ LittleDavid

    HisRoc,

    I have started to gain a new respect for you based upon conversations you have engaged in other then ours.

    According the US Census Bureau the median household income in 1999 was $52,587. In 2009 it was $49,777. These figures are inflation adjusted.

    I will also add that in days past, household income was based on a single earner in the family, and in modern times it is more often based on both the husband and wife working.

    Do I need to do additional research and provide additional statistics to prove my point?

  • Mike Barrett

    The fact is, the richest 1% of americans take home almost 24% of american incomes, up almost 9% from 1976. In 1980, CEOs earned 42 times a much as the average worker, but today, that figure is 531 times as much. There is no doubt that the republicans priority is the super rich, not the middle class or the jobless. How much more fine wine can the rich buy, and how many more European vacations may they take? The incredible con job by the republicans is that most tea party members are victims of this income disparity trend, but think it is because of government spendiong when it is really because of the tax policies enacted by them to favor the super rich individuals and corporations.

  • John Jackson

    Mike,
    I don’t quite understand why people feel its their business what a CEO makes within their own company? Why not reward prosperity? Nothing about a con job…become a CEO and you too can make 531 times the average worker. What a reward!

    Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi who makes $170K a year is now worth millions of dollars. Seems rather strange to me as you advocate to make her richer.

    As CEO oversee companies that actually contribute to our society (i.e. personal incomes taxes, corporate taxes and sales), they actually enhance our lives with products and services. Steve Jobs does not seem like a bad goal to reach.

    Maybe if you attempted to aspire to reach those goals rather than tear them down…you would view the world in a lot brighter light.

  • James “turbo” Cohen

    Wouldn’t it be grand if we had a president worth paying 50 million a yerar…

  • Valentinus

    The fact is, the richest 1% of Americans take home almost 24% of American incomes, up almost 9% from 1976.
    As a leftist I sure will try and hide the fact that they are paying 39% of the income taxes.

    In 1980, CEOs in Wall Street and Hollywood earned 42 times a much as the average worker, but today, that figure is 531 times as much.

    I sure wish that most of them weren’t liberal Dems that Obama is constantly funneling money to.

    There is no doubt that the Democrat’s priority is the super rich, not the middle class or the jobless. How much more fine wine can Nancy Pelosi and John Heinz Kerry buy, and how many more European vacations may Michelle Obama take? The incredible con job by the Democrats is that most minority members are victims of this income disparity trend, but think it is because of fiscal sanity and Constitutional government when it is really because of the corrupt Chicago machine policies enacted by these cynical Dems to favor the super rich individuals and crony capitalists.

  • HisRoc

    C’mon, Little David. I clearly stated that median incomes slumped in 2008. Since you want to compare individual incomes instead of household incomes, here are the Census Bureau statistics. The median individual income in 1999 was $27,341. In 2007, before the recession began, it was $27,728. If you go back to the 1991-92 recession, it was only $22,239. If you go back to the 1981-82 recession, it was only $19,165. All of these figures are normalized for inflation and represent 2010 dollars.

    Please explain how middle class incomes are declining while the wealthy are getting wealthier. The data just don’t support that assertion, no matter how you try to cherry-pick it.

  • http://www.littledavidobermark.blogspot.com/ LittleDavid

    HisRoc,

    OK, let us look at figures for the top 5% for the same years. In ’99 their median was $235,077. In ’07, before the recession, their median was $287,191. In ’08, during the recession, it went up to $294,709. For ’09 it stood at $295,838.

    Or how about looking at share of aggregate income? Using the middle 5th compared to the top 5%: for ’81 16.7% for the middle 5th to 16.5% for the top 5%. For ’91 15.9% to 18.1%. For ’07 before the recession 14.8% to 21.2%. For ’09 14.6% to 21.7%.

    As you can see, over the last few decades the middle class’s share has been steadily eroding while the wealthy’s share has been steadily increasing. The years pointed to where not cherry picked, they were only used as examples and you can pick whichever years you want from about 1980 on and observe the constant march.

    Actually, I would have liked to have used the top 1% instead of the top 5% but I couldn’t find those figures broke out in a chart. Personally, I do not consider $250k to be that much money especially when you consider what the cost of living might be for many of those households making that type of income.

  • http://vateapartyalliance.org Karen Miner Hurd

    The tea party is very busy here in Virginia and many other states. In Texas- the tea party (King Street Patriots) held a major summit on electoral intergrity – the True the Vote Summit. Here in VA the Tea Party Alliance is gearing up for the GA elections. A national coalition of tea party leaders is calling for a congressional investigation of Stephen Lerner and SEIU. The Tea Party in Wisconsin is fighting a very real battle against the public sector unions, and doing recall drives.

    These announcements of “declining support” are a bit premature.

    http://redstatevirginia.com

  • Mike Barrett

    Thanks Karen for the inside scoop. If that is all you have, it is confirmation that the Tea Party movement has cooled and the organization is in decline. After all, with the signs now pointing strongly to fiscal and economic recovery, who wants to self inflict a challenge to quality growth and recovery? Soon, those tea party representatives may find themselves howling on the outside, wondering what happened.