Rasmussen Reports issued the results of a very interesting poll this past Monday. In a national telephone survey of American voters, Rasmussen found that a candidate running under the Tea Party brand in congressional races will get more votes than a Republican!
In a three-way Generic Ballot test, Democrats attract 36% of the vote, the Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.
Among independents — voters not affiliated with either major party — the Tea Party comes out on top. 33% prefer the Tea Party candidate; 30% are undecided; 25% would vote for a Democrat; and just 12% prefer the GOP. Among Republican voters, 39% say they’d vote for the GOP candidate, but 33% favor the Tea Party option.
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 because 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.
Writing in the American Thinker, Richard Viguerie compares the Tea Party movement to a starfish, and the GOP to a spider. Unlike the spider that dies if its head is cut off, the headless leaderless starfish is a survivor because if one tentacle is cut off, it just grows another one. This is how Viguerie sees the Tea Party movement:
“Americans are concluding more and more that many of the current problems we face are caused by unrestrained and corrupt government. It is becoming apparent to millions of voters the solution lies in electing officials who understand, respect and abide by the Constitution as much as we citizens are expected to follow the law. people are actually using the Constitution to ground and form policy choices, and as a constructive means to hold the political establishment accountable.
Our constitutional system of checks and balances is currently in shambles. Congress refuses to hold the president accountable constitutionally, and the courts refuse to hold the other two branches accountable.This is why the 10th Amendment is becoming so popular within the Tea Party Movement, and why that Amendment is becoming the bane of statists in the political establishment. The 10th Amendment, intended as a fundamental, “systemic” protection of our constitutional form of government, says that all powers not given expressly to the federal government by the text of the Constitution are reserved to the States or to the people. It is a fail-safe against tyranny.‘Starfish’ tea partiers are learning how to organize, raise money, and utilize the alternative media in record numbers. They are voicing their opposition to unaccountable Big Government and promoting productive policy alternatives through the Founders’ guiding principles.The 10th Amendment, which has been collecting dust in the closet, is a natural resource for the ‘leaderless’ Tea Party Movement. The way to restrain the abuses of power and create a culture of freedom and economic prosperity lies within the Constitution itself. Tea partiers will use the Constitution, which has been so disregarded by the three branches of government, to tame the beast of tyrannical big government.
From the tea parties, the grassroots, and the alternative media, we are seeing new leaders emerge. Like our Founders, they understand that their strength of leadership does not come from a political party, but from consent of the governed. That is why they don’t hitch their wagons to one person or one party.”