The Republicans are under the mistaken belief that keeping the nation’s attention focused on congress as they continuously fumble the ball on the debt ceiling, jobs, consecutive abortion bills, the war on women, and even the deficit by pointing their fingers at the Democrats will in some way prove to be politically advantageous to them.
It may otherwise be if not for the valiant efforts of Republican governors and local Tea Party groups to erase whatever political points they score by doing so.
The popularity of the Tea Party has been on a downward trend for some time, but a new poll in Florida, a key swing-state, shows that associating yourself with the Tea Party is no longer politically acceptable among a majority of voters.
Aligning yourself too closely to the tea party could be a great way to lose an election in Florida, apparently. So says a recent poll by Gainesville, Florida based polling firm War Room Logistics. In the poll, registered Florida voters said 2:1 that the tea party did not represent their views. War Room’s Alex Patton says this could pose “a real danger to Republican candidates”.
Democrats and independents both gave the tea party the thumbs down, with independent voters holding unfavorable views of the nascent far-right movement 3-to-1. Typically Florida elections are decided by independent voters, and the only constituency still in favor of the recent tide of tea party politicians elected in the Fall of 2010 are Republicans, 68 percent of whom view the tea party favorably.
Both Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Rick Scott of Florida road the rage of the Tea Party and the apathy of Democrats and Independents into office in 2010. If the election were held again today, the two of them would more than likely no longer be in power and the state’s Medicaid system would still be intact, public employees would not be faced with the prospect of drug-testing, and PBS would still be broadcasting.
Such is the case in virtually every important swing-state in the nation where their recently elected Republican overlords are educating their citizen’s on the consequences of elections.
The situation in Florida, where Governor Rick Scott enjoys an approval rating of 29%, rivaling even the lowest points of the Bush Administration in unpopularity, is particularly dire for the Republicans.
A plurality of Florida voters say they are less inclined to support a Republican presidential candidate in 2012 because of the way their freshman GOP governor has acted since taking office, according to a PPP poll to be released Friday morning.
In the survey, 40% of registered voters said Gov. Rick Scott’s actions have made them less inclined to back the GOP presidential nominee next year, versus 26% who said his actions had made it more likely they’d vote Republican in 2012. An additional 34% said Scott has had no impact on whether or not they’ll support a Republican candidate.
A key finding within those results is that almost one in five (18%) of respondents who said they disapproved of President Obama’s job performance said they were still shying away from supporting a Republican alternative because of their dissatisfaction with Scott. Further, 45% of all independent voters said they were less inclined to vote for the GOP nominee after seeing Scott’s policies in action, versus only 18% who said Scott had made them more keen to vote against Obama next year.
The disapproval of Republican Governors and the consequences that disapproval will have on the 2012 election are quite ironic.
If the Republicans in congress supported another round of economic stimulus and increased spending on infrastructure projects, their political prospects in these swing-states would probably look a whole lot better. If you ride voter rage into office with pledges for job-creation, and then instead of delivering jobs you deliver budget-cuts and abortion bills, someone’s going to notice.
The Republicans continue to be the best campaigners, for Democrats, that we could ever hope for, but we can’t afford to be complacent or let our guard down.
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