In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.This isn't good news for the GOP leadership. They've been very busy trying to take over leadership of the Tea Party movement, but haven't been very successful in doing so. A large reason for that IS the lack of communication GOP leaders have had outside the DC Beltway. It doesn't help when "leaders" like Newt Gingrich back candidates who are Republican in name only (RINO), such as Dede Scozzafava of NY-23 fame.
For this survey, the respondents were asked to assume that the Tea Party movement organized as a new political party. In practical terms, it is unlikely that a true third-party option would perform as well as the polling data indicates. The rules of the election process—written by Republicans and Democrats--provide substantial advantages for the two established major parties. The more conventional route in the United States is for a potential third-party force to overtake one of the existing parties.
Ms. Scozzafava, a very liberal member of the New York Senate, ran for the NY-23 seat. She gained the GOP nomination through back room deals over the first choice of the various County GOP leaders. Billed by the MSM as a "moderate" but her support of the economy killing "Stimulus Package", Government Seizure of Health Care, Card Check (a measure that would permit unionization without a secret ballot), Gay Marriage and Abortion, easily put her in a very liberal political framework.
"Social stands might make people unsettled, but it's the economic issues that are really driving people and donations away. She's alienated the conservative, free enterprise wing of the party," said one prominent New York Republican. "Card check? The stimulus? I can't make a call to anyone on her behalf because of those things."But when challenged by a fiscal conservative, Doug Hoffman, her base of support melted away and she began polling a distant 3rd. Then finally, withdrawing from the race, one of her supporters, said,
"Dede Scozzafava has placed her Party and her principles over politics and position for years," said Cox, whose spokesman on Thursday insisted he was working hard to support her.Except that she cast her support to the Democrat Bill Owens, this is seen by most people as what tipped the balance his way to a very meagre victory.
This sort of support by many in Washington leadership circles is seen as what is disaffecting the GOP base and eroding the support of the party from within. Additionally, this is why so many conservatives no long identify with the GOP.
Data from the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that just 55% of conservatives nationwide consider themselves Republicans. Republican voters are paying a lot more attention to the Tea Party movement than anyone else. Forty-three percent (43%) of GOP voters are following news about the movement Very Closely. Another 30% are following it Somewhat Closely.If this trend continues, as it seems likely, the rise of a third party is not just likely, but this could very well be the genesis of that party. The GOP formed in the last 1840's and early 1850's as the Whig Party began to founder and lose direction. After only 2 presidential election cycles 1852 & '56, the Republican Party was able to capture seats in state legislatures, but in Congress as well as electing Abraham Lincoln to the presidency in 1860. It was just the sort of disaffection within party ranks that gave birth to the GOP...and could very well be it's dissolution as well.