Support decreases for Tea Party movement
America’s Tea Party movement might be losing its influence and followers, a recent survey shows.
Rasmussen Reports released a poll last week that shows the Tea Party movement is at its lowest popularity ever. The poll, conducted Jan. 3 and 4 from 1,000 likely voters, found 8 percent of respondents identified as members of the Tea Party movement, down from a high of 24 percent in April 2010.
The survey also found 30 percent of likely U.S. voters have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party, while almost half of respondents, or 49 percent, said they view it unfavorably. Twenty-one percent were undecided.
The Tea Party is a “grassroots movement that calls awareness to any issue which challenges the security, sovereignty or domestic tranquility of our beloved nation, the United States of America,” the organization’s website said.
The group promotes a limited government, individual responsibility and fiscal frugality.
“It was a natural home for me,” MSU College Republicans’ vice chair Cody Hibbs said.
Hibbs said he might agree with some of the organization’s values, but he never has been an actual member of the movement.
Although the organization’s website said it has many Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents who identify with its beliefs, many of its Congressional members are Republicans, including former presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who is founder of the House of Representatives Tea Party Caucus.
But Corwin Smidt, an assistant professor in the department of political science, said he believes part of the reason the Tea Party movement might be loosing popularity is because of how it is portrayed by the media.
“They paint the Tea Party as a problem of extremism,” Smidt said. “It makes it more difficult for people on the ground who are working for the Tea Party movement.”
MSU College Democrats President Stephen Wooden said he believes the movement’s loss in popularity is because of its extreme views and lack of support for the middle class.
“It’s definitely true that their dogmatic approach to policy led to the most unproductive session of Congress in decades,” Wooden said. “Their drastic disinvestment in the middle class is what attributes most towards their unpopularity.”