Back in September I wrote a piece arguing that the Tea Party movement had become more powerful as an electoral force than the president of the United States. As I noted at the time, “while just 37 percent of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate if backed by Barack Obama, a far larger 50 percent will vote for a Tea-Party endorsed candidate.” The tremendous power of the Tea Party was borne out in the November mid-terms, where the movement scored major successes in both House and Senate races.
There were of course some notable setbacks in states such as Delaware and Nevada, and some critics were quick to dismiss the movement as a flash in the pan, with no real staying power. Those liberal doomsayers will now have to eat some humble pie. Further confirmation of the Tea Party’s influence as a long-term force to be reckoned with has come in a new USA Today/Gallup poll, which shows the Tea Party virtually neck and neck with President Obama in terms of voter opinion on who should influence government policy. The poll is yet another humiliation for a presidency already on its knees.
According to USA Today:
Just about as many Americans want Tea Party-backed members of Congress to take the lead in setting policy during the next year as choose President Obama, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.
In a survey taken Friday through Sunday, 28% say Obama should have the most influence on government policy next year while 27% say the Tea Party standard-bearers should. GOP congressional leaders are chosen by 23%, Democratic congressional leaders by 16%.
The results reflect the strength of the Tea Party movement as the GOP prepares to take control of the House of Representatives in January.
These are striking figures when you consider the vast resources at the disposal of the White House, which is still backed by an overwhelmingly liberal “mainstream” US media, from The New York Times to the major television networks. In contrast, the Tea Party movement is largely a collection of thousands of local, grassroots groups, with extremely limited resources, and faced with a vast and hostile liberal media machine which tries to demonise it at every turn.
As I’ve noted before, the Tea Party will go down in history as one of the most successful US political movements of modern times, playing a key role in the conservative revolution that swept America in 2012. Barack Obama continues to decline in the polls, while the Tea Party maintains its strength, and continues to build upon it.
No doubt the Left’s sneering approach towards the movement will continue, but the message the Tea Party conveys – small government, lower taxes, reduced public spending, free enterprise and individual liberty – will increasingly capture the hearts of the American people in the lead-up to 2012, and will pose a massive threat to President Obama’s re-election prospects. -----Nile Gardiner