Earlier today IPR reported on the results for the Green and Libertarian Parties in various Texas statewide races. However, I later found one really interesting question wedged in the results.
Q20. Do you consider yourself to be part of the Tea Party movement?
1. Yes 31%
2. No 69%
Q24. Suppose the Tea Party movement organized itself as a political party. When thinking
about the next election for Congress, would you vote for the Republican candidate from your
district, the Democratic candidate from your district, or the Tea Party candidate from your
district? [Randomize 1-2]
1. Republican candidate 20%
2. Democratic candidate 33%
3. Tea Party candidate 18%
4. Don’t know 30%
So let’s recap. 31% of Texans identify with the Tea Party movement, but only 18% would vote for a Tea Party candidate. That is a 13% difference to do some simple math, who would probably be stalwart Republicans (although not necessarily so).
Some of the strongest third party candidacies for US House this year are on the Tea Party ballot line. In Florida, Polk County Commissioner Randy Wilkinson is polling at 20% in a three-way race. In addition, Peg Dunmire in Florida seems like she may have strong support in her bid to unseat Alan Grayson and defeat Republican Dan Webster, although no reliable poll has yet included her by name.
However, Republicans often drag down the favorables for Tea Party candidates by yelling “spoiler” or “fake” at the candidates. Look at Scott Ashjian, the Nevada Tea Party candidate for Senate who just survived a Republican and IAP challenge to his spot on the ballot. Or you can see John Krupa, a Constitution Party candidate turned Tea Partier who was forced to withdraw from the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race.