Two recent polls show a majority of Americans now view the Tea Party movement as a positive influence in the public square. 54% of Americans feel that the Tea Party movement has been good for U.S. politics, showing it has become a powerful part of the American political system with potential staying power. There is a strong belief, held by 55% of Americans, that the Tea Party’s message of fiscal conservatism and limited government will even be able to change the culture of Washington. Although liberals attack the Tea Party as extreme and divisive, 69% of Americans either support or are neutral towards the Tea Party, meaning that the persistent attacks are having little effect beyond the liberal base.
The Tea Party is creating much of the electoral momentum. 35% of the likely voters in this election support the Tea Party. 84% of those likely voters are backing Republican candidates, many of which they helped push through primaries. The reason for the support of the Tea Party is their platform. The Tea Party’s concerns about the current leadership, and their support of fiscal discipline, limited government, deficit reduction, a free market, and a change from politics as usual all resonate with voters. 50% of voters will support a candidate with a Tea Party endorsement, compared to 37% supporting candidates endorsed by Barack Obama.
The Tea Party is currently more popular than either major political party. Voters also ignored the smears from political elites who call the Tea Party “astroturf,” funded by wealthy businessmen. 51% say that the Tea Party is a grassroots movement, 55% say that the Tea Party is a decentralized group of ordinary citizens. 48% say that they are funded “organically”, not by financial elites.
The Tea Party appears to be here to stay. In addition to pushing many of their candidates in this election, 75% of these grassroots activists plan to be active “indefinitely.” The Tea Party clearly has made a real impact on the political system. With its clear message of fiscal conservatism and limited government, it has resonated with the average American voter and will be a driving force for conservative ideals for years to come.