Over the past four years, political pundits (especially on the right) have been hailing the Teabaggers as some great new force in American politics. But it was obvious to most of us from the very beginning that the Tea Party wasn't a new movement at all -- it was just a convenient rebrand of the GOP rump in the wake of the catastrophic failures of the Bush/Cheney administration.
Either way, the Tea Party is toast.
Views of the Tea Party movement are at their lowest point ever, with voters for the first time evenly divided when asked to match the views of the average Tea Party member against those of the average member of Congress. Only eight percent (8%) now say they are members of the Tea Party, down from a high of 24% in April 2010 just after passage of the national health care law.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 30% of Likely U.S. Voters now have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party. Half (49%) of voters have an unfavorable view of the movement. Twenty-one percent (21%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
By comparison, 36% of Americans have a favorable view of socialism.
It will be interesting to see if opportunistic Republicans like Marco Rubio who jumped on the Teabagger bandwagon start to distance themselves from these people.