Although President Obama’s approval rating isn’t doing too well, at least the Tea Party didn’t come out of the debt ceiling negotiations unscathed — according to Gallup and Pew, Americans’ views of the Tea Party are at their lowest ever. Pew tackled survey respondents’ views of the Tea Party’s role in Congress, while Gallup asked about Tea Party support overall. Both responses showed a dip in support for the Tea Party, signaling that Americans may be tired of its presence in Congress, after less than eight months in office.
According to Pew, only 22% of respondents thought that the Tea Party had a positive effect on Congressional proceedings, compared to 29% who thought that it had a negative effect. This is down from January numbers, when 29% of respondents thought that the Tea Party was a positive influence, and only 18% disagreed.
Pew writes that “the new poll…finds that those who followed the debt ceiling debate very closely have more negative views about the impact of the Tea Party than those who followed the issue less closely.” That means, unsurprisingly, that people who knew what the Tea Party was doing to gum up the debt ceiling deal were more likely to disapprove of their actions.
Gallup reports that overall support for the Tea Party has dipped to a new low, at 25%. Interestingly, strong disapproval for the Tea Party seems to have stayed mostly constant. That doesn’t mean that the Tea Party doesn’t have its strong detractors.
Gallup notes, “Along with the decline in overall support for the Tea Party from 30% to 25% in recent months, Gallup finds more Americans holding intensely negative feelings toward the movement than intensely positive feelings. It thus appears that, to date, the Tea Party’s leadership and activities may have been more successful at galvanizing the movement’s opponents than expanding its base of passionate supporters.”
Harry Reid also said that he believed that the Tea Party was loosening its hold on the Republican party. ”The Tea Party was the result of a terrible economy…I’ve said that many times, and I believe that,” he explained. ”That [the Tea Party] will pass. They will lose a number of seats next year,”
Many people are still reporting that they have no opinion about the Tea Party, signaling that they may not have enough information to make a decisive call. But it is hopeful to know that the more havoc the Tea Party wreaks on our political system, the more supporters they lose, and the more opponents they gain.
Photo from Fibonacci Blue via flickr.