The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Though the news me­dia and par­ti­san crit­ics con­tinue to de­clare that the tea party is dead and ir­rel­e­vant, a ma­jor poll­ster ap­pears to dis­agree.

“Although the tea party has not been as vis­i­ble in this year’s midterm elec­tions as it was in 2010, tea party Repub­li­cans have given more thought to this year’s elec­tions and are much more mo­ti­vated to vote than are non-tea party Repub­li­cans or other Americans. About one in four Americans con­tinue to say they support the tea party. De­spite what ap­pears to be a lower pro­file this year, the tea party wing of the Repub­li­can Party — about 18 per­cent of all na­tional adults — re­mains a pow­er­ful force,” re­ports Gallup Di­rec­tor Frank New­port.

And the num­bers: 73 per­cent of tea par­ty­ers are “ex­tremely or very mo­ti­vated” to vote, com­pared to 57 per­cent of Repub­li­cans and 42 per­cent of “non-Repub­li­cans.” Another 54 per­cent of tea par­ty­ers say they’re think­ing “a great deal” about the midterms, com­pared to 31 per­cent of other Repub­li­cans and 27 per­cent of non-Repub­li­cans.

As they were four years ago, tea party vot­ers re­main op­posed to big gov­ern­ment, taxes and heavy reg­u­la­tions. Their gravest con­cerns, the poll found, are now the threat of Is­lamic mil­i­tants, the fed­eral deficit, gov­ern­ment in­ef­fi­ciency, the econ­omy, taxes and im­mi­gra­tion — in that or­der. “Tea party sup­port­ers’ stronger mo­ti­va­tion to vote un­der­scores the group’s im­por­tance to the elec­tion out­come,” Mr. New­port ob­serves.

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