GALLUP: TEA PARTY ‘A POWERFUL FORCE’
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.