Who said that the Tea Party couldn’t get anything done? Sure, maybe as a group of legislators they suck out loud, but if you were to measure the effectiveness of a movement by how badly they hurt those they affiliate with, the Tea Party would be called the most effective political movement in history.
According to a new Gallup poll, the Republican Party’s favorability has hit a record low. Let that sink in. In just three years since their “rise to power” in the 2010 mid-terms, the Tea Party movement has brought the GOP’s approval and likability ratings crashing down. It takes a lot of effort to completely destroy a political party’s momentum and trustworthiness. But to do it in just three years of power? That has to be some kind of record.
According to the latest figures released by Gallup, only 28% of Americans view Republicans favorably. Reverse that number and you’re looking at the fact that more than 70% of those polled by Gallup view the GOP either unfavorably or ambivalently. Even in a politically-polarized country like the United States, a movement that is disliked by seven out of every ten people is very viable on a national level, which we’re sure is going to have Republican leadership scrambling all next year to repair the damage the Tea Party has clearly done to their brand.
Gallup is just one of many polling companies that have shown a sharp increase in the number of Americans who are critical of the Republicans in Washington. NBC and The Wall Street Journal’s newest poll echoes the same haunting warnings of impending doom for the GOP. Of course nothing is a given, and 2014 mid-terms are still over a year away, but it’s hard to envision a scenario that would allow the House Republicans to reverse this much damage done to their reputations. Even a 10% spike in their favorability would still put them well under the 50% mark that one would expect to see in a two-party dominated system such as ours. It would seem the Democrats are poised to make a big move next year, and that is sure to get the attention of establishment Republicans.
The only question is how much control over the people who have set fire to their party, and the polling numbers seem to indicate the answer to that question is “little to none.”