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?   (AP Photo)
Tea party supporters demonstrate in St. Louis.   (AP Photo)
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