In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.So are Republicans worried? Nope. Greg Sargent asked for the GOP's leadership view of the poll and this was one senior GOP aide's reply:
This proves one of the major points that Democrats have tried hard to deny: the Tea Party movement is not some fringe group of ultra-conservatives, it is most popular among independents, many of whom believed President Obama’s campaign promises about doing things differently in Washington, and feel burned by the fact that he has governed in a relentlessly partisan fashion.Partisan? Did he really say partisan? Three words: Health care reform. Obama reached out to Republicans and they said NO.
I think GOP leadership has to spin this in a favorable light. After all, several Glenn Beck inspired Tea Party candidates are causing problems for a number of GOP lawmakers, including John McCain. They're caught between a rock and a hard place. They can't afford to ignore the teabaggers, and they can't afford to embrace them at the risk of losing their moderate members.
And I don't take too seriously the GOP spokesperson's comment that "the Tea Party movement is not some fringe group." Again, really? What else would you call a group that invited Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman to speak at their national convention next year. And don't forget about Joe the Plumber.
I'm sorry, but I have a hard time believing that any independents with a smidgen of commonsense will embrace the teabaggers, the same group that shows up at rallies with guns and posters comparing health care reform to pictures of dead bodies at the Dachau concentration camp. These people are not mainstream Americans, they're extremists.
And when a fake party "that doesn't have organized candidates or organized fundraising is more highly thought of than one of the two traditionally dominant political parties," that's a sign that Republicans are in big trouble, no matter how much they spin this poll.