Leftist media have encouraged the belief that the Tea Party movement has been in decline since the 2010 elections. Last month’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, despite a sample that tilted to the left, proves just the opposite.
Positive views of the Tea Party, which were at 30% in November 2010, are still at 27%. In contrast, positive views of the Occupy movement are down to 25%.
Even more important was the response to a question that asked whether the Tea Party movement (defined as “protesting against taxes and for the reduction of government spending and the federal debt”) still serves “a vital and useful purpose”. Respondents said yes by a margin of 49-43%. (The verdict on the Occupy movement was negative by 39-51%.)
It’s nearly certain that support for the Tea Party is even greater than the poll indicates, since poll appears to include too many Democrats and liberals. Respondents said they hoped for the election of a Democratic-controlled Congress, preferring Democrats to Republicans by 46-44%. That is exactly what the same pollsters were told in October, 2010, just before the Republican landslide.