I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. As usual, voters are way ahead of professional national opinion leaders. To borrow a phrase used in the article, the Tea Party is now “less an abstraction” to the people who actually live in Tea Party districts, as opposed to the national narrative creators who don’t live in these districts.
Support for the Tea Party — and with it, the Republican Party — has fallen sharply even in places considered Tea Party strongholds, according to an analysis of new polls.
In Congressional districts represented by Tea Party lawmakers, the number of people saying they disagree with the movement has risen significantly since it powered a Republican sweep in midterm elections; almost as many people disagree with it as agree with it, according to the analysis by the Pew Research Center.
The analysis suggests that the Tea Party may be dragging down the Republican Party heading into a presidential election year, even as it ushered in a new Republican majority in the House of Representatives just a year ago. Other polls have shown a decline in support for the Tea Party and its positions, particularly because its hard line during the debate over the debt ceiling and deficit reduction made it less an abstraction than it was a year ago. In earlier polls, most Americans did not know enough about the Tea Party to offer an opinion.
I’m just guessing here, but maybe people watching the insane debt limit fight from out here in the cheap seats thought it was stupid and counterproductive and reckless, rather than principled and worthwhile? Maybe they’re noticing that Tea Party House members never actually get any work done?