A new Rasmussen poll suggests the Tea Party movement is far more than an energetic minority in the Republican Party. In a generic three-way ballot, an unnamed Tea Party candidate fared better than the GOP candidate—23 percent to 18 percent—with the Democrat beating both with 36 percent. Does this mean the GOP is on the fringe, and the Tea Partiers are the mainstream of the American Right? (Watch an MSNBC report about a Tea Party movement movie)
Yes, but Republicans won't admit it: The GOP thinks it has the momentum, says Kyle Wingfield in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and even dreams of winning back a majority in the House in the 2010 midterm elections. But the Tea Party poll numbers indicate that "the GOP will have to work very hard to convert those voters' anti-Democrat attitude into a pro-Republican result next November."
"About that GOP momentum"
Tea Party voters and the GOP are on the same team—or should be: Fortunately for Republicans, there is no Tea Party "Party," says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. So the GOP can win over those voters in 2010 by representing "the Tea Party brand," which means insisting on "fiscal restraint and reduction of government as the platform for the election." That should be easy—those were bedrock Republican goals until 2001–20006, when party leaders turned into "porkers who spent hand over fist."
"Rasmussen: Tea party tops GOP on generic Congressional ballot"
The Right will abandon the Republican Party if it has an alternative: The Rasmussen poll numbers prove that what happened in New York's 23rd congressional district was no "fluke," says Peter Suderman in Reason. Third-party Conservatives elsewhere might push aside GOP candidates the way Doug Hoffman did in NY-23. The energy on the Right is not with Republicans, but with "dissident limited-government" Tea Partiers who are fed up "with a GOP they no longer trust."
"More Americans willing to vote for nonexistent third party than GOP"