Tea Party Could Doom GOP in November

If they run candidates, Democrats will win: Quinnipiac

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 24, 2010 1:58 PM CDT

(Newser) – Just 13% of Americans self-identify as members of the Tea Party movement, but a new Quinnipiac poll shows they may well hold the key to the 2010 midterm elections. Respondents say they would vote for a Republican over a Democrat by 44% to 39%. But if a Tea Party candidate is in the mix, the calculus changes drastically: Tea Party, 15%; GOP, 25%; Democrat, 36%.

“The Tea Party could be a Republican dream—or a GOP nightmare,” says a Quinnipiac official. “If the Tea Party were to run its own candidates for office, any votes its candidate received would to a very great extent be coming from the GOP column.” The poll shows that while 70% of American voters are “somewhat” or “very dissatisfied” with the direction the country is going, 92% of tea partiers feel that way. The question for anxious Republicans: Are they dissatisfied enough to run candidates in November?

Republican voter, or Tea Party candidate?
Republican voter, or Tea Party candidate?   (AP Photo)
Tea party supporters demonstrate in St. Louis.
Tea party supporters demonstrate in St. Louis.   (AP Photo)
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