Republican support for the tea party has dropped to 41%, a new Gallup poll found; that’s down from 61% in November 2010.
The same survey
found 11 percent of registered GOP voters and GOP-leaning independents now declare themselves opponents of the tea party — a six percent jump.
The Gallup numbers come as some pundits are writing the tea party’s obituary. That’s a mistake, others observe.
"The tea party's goal was to infiltrate and reorient the GOP, and at this it's been largely successful," notes Matt Purple in The American Spectator.
Still, the apparent rancor the new poll finds has increasingly blown out into the open, most notably this past Tuesday when several establishment Republican candidates emerged victorious
over their tea party challengers in GOP primaries.
In Ohio, House Speaker John Boehner handily won his primary against a tea party insurgent, while in North Carolina, House Speaker Thom Tillis secured the GOP's Senate nomination by prevailing over tea party contender Greg Brannon with the help of television ads paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber blames tea party lawmakers for the economic damage caused by the government shutdown and had vowed to spend at least $50 million on campaigns to support centrist GOP candidates in 2014.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
scolded the victors earlier this week for “gloating” about their wins.
On Facebook Palin wrote: “Are we not on the same side, standing firm on all platform planks that empower the people instead of growing government? The people you’re mocking comprise the base of your own party, remember? To paraphrase the great Ronald Reagan: Rein it in and humbly learn how much we can accomplish together for America when we don’t care who gets the credit.”
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