By Matt Vespa
The pendulum in the war between liberals and conservatives continues to swing with Democrats regaining the voter ID edge in the aftermath of the 2012 election. Mike Flynn of Breitbart, wrote today that this shouldn’t be a surprise.
A new survey by Gallup shows Democrats regaining their edge in party identification over the GOP. In 2012, 47% of Americans identified as Democrat or lean-Democrat. 42% identified as GOP or lean-GOP. In 2011, the two parties were even, with each claiming 45% of Americans. In 2008, however, Democrats held a 12-point edge in voter identification.
The results shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, given the Democrat victories in November. The edge, however, came from Independents leaning more toward the Democrats than the GOP. In 2011, more Independents leaned toward the GOP. 18% of Americans identified as Independent, lean-GOP against 14% who were Independent, lean-Dem. In 2012, those numbers flipped, with 16% of Independents leaning Dem and 14% leaning GOP.
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These numbers can change. Public opinion is shiftable sand; therefore, there are no permanent victories in politics. However, another interesting find relates to the Tea Party. While some thought the movement was dead last summer, those rumors were dispelled with the primary – and general election – wins of Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). However, now only 8% of likely voters identify themselves as Tea Partiers.
Paul Bedard wrote in The Washington Examiner on January 7 that:
Some 30 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party, down from 51 perent in 2009.
56 percent said it has become less influential.
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.)
In April 2009 when the Tea Party protests against President Obama’s spending policies first erupted, 51% of Americans held a favorable opinion of the movement. However, just 35% felt that way by last July.
Only 34% of voters now believe the Tea Party movement is good for the country, down from 49% in April 2011. Slightly more (40%) think the Tea Party is bad for the country, while 17% say neither.
A majority (56%) of voters agrees that the Tea Party movement has become less influential over the past year. Just 21% feel it has become more influential, although even more (23%) are not sure.
So, will the next discussion, on a long list of subjects, amongst conservatives be concerned with the Tea Party, and their influence within the party? Are they responsible for the country’s shift back to left? Stay tuned.