Tea Party Support Falls to Lowest Point Ever, Gallup Says
The recent intraparty chaos in Congress itself also can easily be traced to the rise of the tea party, with the House Freedom Caucus able to claim a major victory by forcing House Speaker John Boehner to resign. The group additionally handcuffed his likely successor, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, from making changes that would prevent them from mounting an insurgency against him, too.
In the long term, though, the tea party's rise and the GOP's subsequent ideological split may box the furthest right members of the party out. Moderate Republicans have teamed with Democrats to handle critical legislation on topics like avoiding a government shutdown and reforming Medicare payments – the latter of which stemmed from a deal struck between Boehner and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California this spring.
The most telling figure of the Gallup survey may be that more than half of those interviewed – 54 percent – said they neither support nor oppose the tea party, meaning that the movement has lost its potency as either a positive or negative motivator.
"While the effects of the tea party movement on previous elections still resonate, the big drop in support from Republicans and Republican leaners over the past four or five years may indicate that the tea party movement's impact on American politics is fading," Gallup's Jim Norman writes in the survey release.
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