The tea party is a strange, angry little rump of the Republican Party that nonetheless, holds the whip hand over the GOP at the moment, at least electorally, writes Joy Reid. (Wall Street holds the whip in actuality.) So the latest Bloomberg poll can only be read as, “there are tea party people, and then there’s everybody else.”
Perry leads the GOP field in the poll. Not surprising, since Mitt Romney has utterly failed to come up with a strategy to stop the Texas governor’s momentum (he’s playing John McCain 2000, without the media love.) And President Obama leads either Republican in a head to head matchup — besting Perry by 9 points, 49 to 40. Also not a shocker.
But some of the stuff in the poll is just plain weird. For instance…
On Social Security:
The most publicized campaign issue focusing on Perry — his characterization of Social Security as a “Ponzi Scheme” — has Americans divided. Among all respondents, 46 percent said they agree with the remark, while 50 percent said they disagree.
Among Republicans, 65 percent agree with Perry’s statements about Social Security, while 33 percent disagree. Independents are nearly equally split.
So saying Social Security is a Ponzi scheme is AOK with base Republicans. Okey dokey…
Forty-five percent of Americans say they’d be less inclined to support a candidate who says science isn’t settled on whether human activity contributes to global warming, while 25 percent said it would make them more likely to back that candidate. Half said they would be turned off by a candidate who says evolution remains an unproven theory, with 20 percent saying they’d be more inclined to support someone who holds that view.
Who are those 20-25 people? Well, they’re Perry people. They’re older, they’re evangelicals, and they’re either tea partiers or tea party sympathizers.
Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, men are more often drawn to Perry over Romney, while women are equally split between the two. Younger Republicans more often prefer Romney to Perry, with Romney holding an advantage of 24 percent to 13 percent among those under 35.
Perry’s polling strengths include Tea Party supporters and those who describe themselves as “born again” or fundamentalist Christians. He leads Romney 31 percent to 21 percent among Tea Party supporters, and has the backing of 29 percent among those self-described Christians, compared with 15 percent for Romney.
And by the way, tea party people are NOT popular:
Amid a Republican nomination contest in which the Tea Party is playing a major role, a majority of Americans — 52 percent – – view the movement as a mostly negative force in the nation’s politics, while 37 percent see it in a mostly positive light.
But lest you think it’s just Perry supporters who are off on their own reservation, have a gander at Republicans’ response to a classic Romney sound bite:
Romney’s statement that “corporations are people” makes 40 percent of Republicans more inclined to support him, while 45 percent of general election voters find that statement unappealing.
Expressing opposition to any tax increase even in exchange for 10 times as much in federal spending cuts — a position taken by all of the Republican candidates at an Aug. 11 debate – – is viewed positively by 42 percent of Republicans and negatively by 49 percent of general election voters.
Almost half of primary voters would be less interested in a candidate who wants to abolish the Federal Reserve, while 62 percent of general election voters feel that way.
Sorry Ron Paul. That last paragraph was included just for you.