THREE ODD STATS FROM THAT TEA PARTY POLL -- AND WHAT THEY MEAN FOR 2010
You'll see a lot of analysis of the New York Times/CBS poll of tea party supporters; I'm just going to pull out a few interesting facts (full results here):
* Tea partiers are less likely to want a third party than the general public. Well, so much for the "pox on both your houses" myth about teabaggers. The question is: "Some people say the country needs a third political party -- a new party to compete with the Democratic and Republican parties. Do you agree?" In the public at large, according to the poll, 46% agree, 48% disagree. Among teabaggers, only 40% agree; 52% disagree. Get it through your heads, folks, if you haven't already: these folks are rather content with the Republican Party, as it is or as they expect it to be once they're done with it.
* Tea partiers seem to hate Congress more than they hate Obama. This really surprised me -- I thought they were disproportionately fixated on the evil Kenyan socialist Muslim, but when asked who's mostly to blame for the state of the economy, only 10% of teabaggers blame the Obama administration, while 28% blame Congress. They also blame Congress more than the administration for the budget deficit, 37%-24%. That's good for Obama. It's not good for Democrats up for reelection in 2010.
* Tea partiers are surprisingly satisfied with their own members of Congress. Among teabaggers, Congress has a whopping 1% approval rating -- but when asked about their own members of Congress, the approval jumps to 40%. So obviously a lot of these people (though not quite a majority) are right-wingers in Republican districts who think their bum doesn't need to be thrown out with all the others; they like their bum just fine. It should be noted, however, that the percentages wanting to throw their own member of Congress out don't have to be high for a wave election; the general public's number, according to this poll, is 36% -- higher than in November '94. That's bad news for the Dems.