Poll: Tea Party Beats Republican Party

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A new Rasmussen poll shows just how much the “Tea Party” movement has taken hold. According to the poll, given the choice between a Democrat, a Republican, and a hypothetical “Tea Party” candidate in their congressional district, 23 percent of Americans say they would vote for the tea partier. Eighteen percent would opt for the Republican, and 36 percent would choose the Democrat. Liberals should resist the temptation to celebrate. The “Tea Party” is not a real political party and most Tea Party voters will settle for voting Republican.

The only way Democrats can capitalize on this will be if Tea Party pressure creates more situations like the one in New York’s twenty-third congressional district earlier this year, where a very conservative independent candidate ended up splitting the GOP-leaning vote with a moderate Republican and allowing the Democrat to win. That seems like it was probably a fluke. In most cases, the more conservative candidate will simply run in the Republican primary and win—and economic conditions in October and November 2010 will largely determine whether or not that candidate wins the general.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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