Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Republicans were “on probation” after their tremendous wins in Tuesday’s midterm elections. “Big government Republicanism is not innate to us, it’s not part of our DNA and yet we tried to force ourselves into that box and instead we wound up forcing people out of the party,” said Steele on Fox News Thursday. Echoing the sentiment of other top Republicans, Steele said the favorable election results for the GOP did not translate to “oh gee, we love Republicans.” The message, said Steele, was that voters wanted the GOP to return to its founding principles of limited government, free markets and less spending.This is being supported by recents polls as well as exit polls. Nearly 31% of those polled said they would support a 3rd party candidate who was part of the Tea Party movement. In another poll, 72% say that the leadership of the party has lost touch with those party planks that the base of the party believes to be important.
Seventy-nine percent (79%) of likely GOP primary voters hold a favorable opinion of the Tea Party movement, while only nine percent (9%) view the smaller government, lower taxes movement unfavorably.This reflects reality as a number of "mainstream" Republican politcians lost their primary bids to Tea Party backed candidates in this year's political primaries prior to last Tuesdays elections.