Support for the tea party has hit a record low, as the American people are finished with the extremist right wing movement.
According to the latest Gallup poll, tea party support has dropped to its lowest ever recorded level as just 17% of Americans support the extremist conservative movement. Twenty-four percent of those polled called themselves tea party opponents, and 54% had no opinion on the tea party.
The worst fate than any person or organization can suffer in American politics isn’t to be hated. It’s being ignored. (Just ask Martin O’Malley, or about a dozen of the Republicans running for president whether they would prefer to be hated or ignored. To a person, they would happily take hatred because at least it means that people are paying attention.) Republicans are ignoring the tea party in record numbers. Republican support has dropped from 52% in 2010 to 38% today.
Married couples and people over 65 have switched sides and stopped supporting the tea party over the past five years. The Gallup data paints a picture of a dying political movement. Americans are rejecting the extremism of the far right by ignoring it.
One of the main reasons why there is a disconnect between Congress and the people that they are elected to serve is because tea party ideologues play an outsized role in Congress. House Republicans are split between tea party ideologues and establishment conservatives. It was tea partiers who forced Speaker John Boehner out of office, and the same House Republican Freedom Caucus will make life miserable for likely incoming Speaker Paul Ryan.
Americans are done with the tea party, but the fact that the far right is overrepresented in Congress means that extremists are in a position to inflict more crisis and chaos for years to come.