Tea Partyers and the Power of No

Room for Debate - A New York Times Blog

January 31, 2010, 7:00 PM

By THE EDITORS
Tea Party
Matt Nager for The New York TimesA Tea Party rally in Dallas, Sept. 4, 2009.

The Tea Party movement may be fringe no more. Americans feel less negatively about it than than they feel about the Democrats or the Republicans, according to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal surveyreleased last week. The latest Field Poll in California found that 3 in 10 surveyed identified with the movement.

The Republicans are working to marshal Tea Party support for their candidates. The Democrats, meanwhile, see an opportunity to use the movement as a wedge between moderate independents and Republicans — or at least to characterize the G.O.P. as tea party central.

Is this a typical third-party movement? Are mainstream parties ever able to co-opt third-party messages and members?

Andrew Kohut, Pew Research Center

                                                                I THOUGHT THE “TEA PARTY” WAS ONLY ABOUT FISCAL ISSUES

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