Poll: Tea Parties more popular than hated real-life political parties

Turns out, with enough major media promotion, almost a third of Americans will look upon you favorably

By Alex Pareene

Published May 13, 2010 8:30PM (EDT)

According to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, "the Tea Party movement" -- a vaguely defined, all-things-to-all-people, quasi-grass roots "movement" that's been heavily promoted and marketed by a major media outlet and that governs nothing and advocates no specific policy ideas beyond anti-government sloganeering -- is marginally more popular than either of the actual, established political parties.

Sort of.

"The Tea Party movement" was viewed positively by 31 percent of people and negatively by 30 percent. The Republican Party was viewed positively by 30 percent of respondents and negatively by 42 percent. Thirty-seven percent of people viewed the Democratic Party favorably, which is definitely more than the Tea Party, but 42 percent viewed the Democrats negatively, which is really pretty bad.

Like most opinion polls, this one can be interpreted in an infinite number of ways. According to Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, it's a sign of "Voters Shifting to GOP." According to MSNBC, nothing important has really changed since their last poll.

Either way, it's a bad time to be an incumbent anything. Many respondents also "think" we're "still" in a recession, which suggests that economic trends are perhaps driving a lot of the bipartisan incumbent-hate. Obviously a massive jobs program is politically "impossible" for reasons that are still mostly unclear to me.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

MORE FROM Alex PareeneFOLLOW pareene

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Tea Parties War Room