Tea Party Movement emerging challenger to GOP, Democrats: Fox Poll

Tea Party Movement emerging challenger to GOP, Democrats: Fox PollWashington, Feb. 6 : A new kid has emerged in the American political bloc -- the Tea Party Movement, which according to a Fox News-sponsored poll, is posing a fairly serious challenge to both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

With mid-term polls scheduled for November this year, Americans have expressed a disdain for both Republicans (42 percent favorable; 46 percent unfavorable) and Democrats (42 percent favorable; 48 percent unfavorable), according to the Fox News poll that was released Friday.

The Tea Party Movement fares better (35 percent favorable; 22 percent unfavorable), although more than four of 10 voters are unable to give an opinion or say they have never heard of the group.

Nearly all voters express some degree of interest in the November midterms, although significantly more Republicans (38 percent) than Democrats (22 percent) say they are “extremely” interested.

Moreover, Republicans (41 percent) have a slim edge over Democrats (36 percent) on a generic Congressional ballot, if the election were held today.

The key bloc of independent voters is tougher on Republicans (33 percent favorable; 46 percent unfavorable) than Democrats (40 percent favorable; 42 percent unfavorable).

Despite their less positive view of the GOP, independents favor the Republican candidate in the generic ballot by a 9-percentage point margin (32 percent to 23 percent).

In the recent state elections where Republicans scored upset victories, the poll finds more voters see those results as “sending a message” to President Obama and Democrats (59 percent) than as an affirmation of the particular candidates and issues in those races (22 percent).

Politicians of both parties had better take the Tea Party movement seriously, if for no other reason than voters see it as a legitimate phenomenon.

About half of voters (51 percent) think the Tea Party Movement is a “serious” group of people who believe government is too big and taxes are too high.

One voter in five (20 percent) thinks Tea Partiers are on the “fringe” of politics with extreme right-wing views, while about a quarter (24 percent) is undecided.

Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll for Fox News among 900 registered voters from February 2 to February 3, 2010. The poll has a 3-point sampling error margin. (ANI)

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