GOP leadership cheered on the Teabaggers during their August festival of rioting against healthcare reform and all things Obama. It is now paying the piper. Rasmussen finds the Tea Party candidate beats a Republican by a 23 percent to 18 percent margin. The Democrat scores 36 percent in the three-way generic race. Twenty-two percent are undecided.
The findings cheer downtrodden Dems who had anticipated big losses in the 2010 election, especially since Rasmussen finds their candidate would be solidly beaten by combined Tea Party and Republican vote. That electoral fusion isnít in the cards. Independents opt for the Tea Party. Thirty-three percent of them vote for the Teabagger, while another 30 percent are undecided. The Democrat scores third with 25 percent, more than twice the 12 percent support for the GOP standard-bearer.
The Rasmussen poll shows the Republicans believe their leadership in D.C. (Michael Steele, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor) is out of touch with the base. More than seven-in-ten (73 percent) of Republicans say their D.C. leadership doesnít have a clue. Thatís why 43 percent of Republicans watch Tea Party developments very closely compared to 12 percent of Democrats who feel the Tea Party isnít exactly their cup of tea.
One factor does unite both Tea Baggers and Republicans, opposition to the policies of Barack Obama. The pollster doesnít realistically expect Teabaggers to emerge as a viable opposition party to Democrats and Republicans in time for the next election. A more likely scenario is for Teabggers drive Republicans farther to the margin on the right.
That is sweet music to Democrats who fret about their ability to hold on to moderate voters who believe Obama is a lefty. Moderates like Tea Party people more than Republicans but nearly half of moderate voters are sticking with the Democrats.