This piece by the PBS Newshour would have been better titled, support for Republicans declines as voters realize AstroTurf 'tea partiers' are just looking out for the interests of big business and obstructing. They instead decided to completely
November 30, 2011

This piece by the PBS Newshour would have been better titled, support for Republicans declines as voters realize AstroTurf 'tea partiers' are just looking out for the interests of big business and obstructing. They instead decided to completely ignore who's funding these co-called "tea party" groups and or inform their viewers that those voters are nothing more than disgruntled Republicans who probably never took the Bush/Cheney bumper stickers off of their cars yet.

That said, it's nice to see that it looks like the voters have finally started to have a belly-full of them and are realizing that these Republicans are not looking out for their interests or doing anything constructive to improve the economy.

Here's how they framed the segment instead -- Amid Sagging Support, Does Tea Party Have Staying Power for 2012?:

JEFFREY BROWN: Next, the Tea Party burst on the scene as a new political force, but does it have staying power?

Judy Woodruff has our look.

JUDY WOODRUFF: A fresh survey released yesterday by the Pew Research Center found that support for the Tea Party had decreased over the past year. The decline was seen nationally, but also in districts represented by members of the House Tea Party Caucus.

The Pew poll found that 27 percent of Americans now disagree with the movement, while 20 percent support it. In Tea Party-represented districts, 25 percent of respondents said they backed the movement, while 23 percent were against it. [...] Andy Kohut, let me start with you.

We just heard what these numbers say about what support for the Tea Party is like right now. What did it look like a year ago around the time of the midterms?

ANDREW KOHUT, Pew Research Center: At the time of the midterms, we had a plurality of Americans saying they agreed with the ideas of the Tea Party.

Now, keep in mind, most people -- only about half of the people have an opinion, but among the people who do have an opinion, a plurality said, we agree with them. At the beginning of the year, when we asked people, what effect do you think the Tea Party is going to have on Congress, most people who had an opinion said it's going to be a good effect.

By August, we had 29 percent to 22 percent plurality saying, by the way, they're having a bad effect. And so we have seen a deterioration of the view that they're a positive force here in Washington, and we have seen fewer people agreeing with them, both, as you pointed out, in the country nationwide and also in the 60 districts where members of the Republican -- of the Tea Party Caucus come from.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Andy Kohut, you look at the polling numbers all the time. Is this a significant drop?

ANDREW KOHUT: It is pretty significant, given how influential they have been and how intense the views have been about the issues that they take on.

And what adds the significance to it is we see the same trend with respect to the Republican Party. It's not just the Tea Party. Throughout much of this year, the early part of the year, even numbers of people had a favorable and unfavorable view of the Republican Party, just as they have of the Democratic Party.

By October of this year, we have a 36 percent to 55 percent margin saying, I have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And just by point of contrast, what about for the Democrats?

ANDREW KOHUT: For the Democrats, it's 46-45. Now, that's nothing to crow about...


ANDREW KOHUT: ... but it's a lot better than 36-55. And there are some reasons. If you dig deeper into the trends, there's some reasons for this.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, just quickly on the Tea Party, Andy Kohut, just based on what you can see, can you tell why this has happened?

ANDREW KOHUT: Well, I think it's -- there's no direct reason, but a couple of things come to mind.

One, there's a great deal of volatility about politics in this era when there's so little -- when you have 10 percent rating the Congress favorably, and 80 percent, 85 percent saying they're angry with or frustrated with government. And so there's that.

And, also, I think may be a performance issue. Especially in these districts, I think many of the people expected that the Tea Party would have a positive effect. And as we see with the Republican Party, they may be blaming the Tea Party for gridlock. Read on...

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