Skip to main content

There are many interesting things to be found in a new ABC News-Washington Post poll on the Tea Party "movement", but this may be the most enlightening of all:

The new movement is also relatively small, with 8 percent of supporters claiming to be "active participants" -- about 2 percent of the total population.

That massive "grass roots" movement you've been hearing about? The one covered 24/7 by Fox "News"? That enormous groundswell of disaffected Americans?

Two percent.

2%.

A higher percentage of Americans are currently in jail. A higher percentage of Americans are millionaires. A higher percentage of Americans carries at least ten credit cards. But I digress.

Not only is almost nobody bothering to attend these relentlessly promoted tea parties, but the more people hear about them, the less they care:

That conclusion, backed by numbers from a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, also suggests that the tea party may have little room for growth. Most Americans -- including large majorities of those who don't already count themselves as supporters -- say they're not interested in learning more about the movement. A sizable share of those not already sympathetic to the tea party also say that the more they hear, the less they like the movement.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Check out the "neutrals" in the above chart. If this isn't people screaming "STFU about the damn Tea Party already!", I don't know what is.

This is what has dominated so many news cycles for the past year? A "movement" that, with the aid of non-stop promotion by the highest-rated news network and the entire rightwing radio and internet apparatus--not to mention a lousy economy and a pissed off population in general--can only muster 2% turnout?

I'm guessing that may be why we've been hearing about them a bit less lately: I really think that Fox et al finally recognized a shitty business model when they saw one, and decided to move on to more lucrative pastures.

The poll's other results confirm the demographics everybody always knew about, but for some reason needs to be repeatedly confirmed by polls:

Supporters overwhelmingly identify themselves as Republicans or GOP-leaning independents...

Duh.

All that aside, there's also some results that confirm something else we all suspected--that the Tea Party is basically just siphoning away support from the GOP:

The percentage of people who say the Democratic Party represents their personal values and is in tune with the problems of people like themselves hasn't changed since November. The percentage siding with the GOP, however, has dropped by almost precisely the numbers now siding with the tea party.

Some 14 percent of Americans say the tea party is most in sync with their values, nearly matching the 15 percentage-point drop-off for the GOP over the past five months.

Hard to say what, if any, effect that will have in November. It's quite possible that conservatives will "come home" to the GOP, as people often do when it's time to actually vote.

Still, it's a good idea to keep some of these numbers in mind the next time the media tries to tell you that the country is rising up in protest. Actually, they're not. When it comes to the Tea Party, the country is yawning and going back to sleep.

Originally posted to MeMeMeMeMe on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:06 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site