While all too many on the left (and in the MSM) continue to ridicule the Tea Parties being held across the country this past year, they represent the largest grassroots phenomenon of 2009. If the GOP can tap into the energy of these parties, Republicans will repeat the results last month of elections in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the counties surrounding New York City and avoid the mistakes of New York’s 23rd Congressional Districts.
Today, however, Rasmussen finds that a hypothetical Tea Party candidate would run ahead of a Republican:
In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.
Among voters not affiliated with either major party, the Tea Party comes out on top. Thirty-three percent (33%) prefer the Tea Party candidate, and 30% are undecided. Twenty-five percent (25%) would vote for a Democrat, and just 12% prefer the GOP.
This shows that voters still remain skeptical of the small government bona fides of the GOP, or, as law professor William A. Jacobson more ominoulsy puts it, “the Republican establishment needs to understand that it has lost its base.” People still remain skeptical of the GOP’s commitment to the principles which helped Republicans win the White House in the 1980s and Congress in the 1990s, but at the same time embrace those principles.
With the GOP caucus in the House voting unanimously against the spendthrift “so-called stimulus” and in near unanimity against cap and trade and Obamacare, Republicans are beginning to show that commitment once again. But, it’s not enough. I suggest that, in response to the President’s proposal to spend TARP money to make work, they offer their own proposal for creating jobs, cutting the corporate tax rate, reducing federal regulation and freezing the salaries of federal workers.
Such a plan will show both a commitment to conservative principles and to job creation.