Most tea partiers don't want a Party with a capital P
Beyond today's dueling polls on the size of the tea party movement (NYT-CBS calls 18 percent "supporters;" CNN says one in 10 is an "activist"), there's a fundamental question: is this a fledgling third-party or a re-branding of a segment of the GOP or something else?
As partial evidence on this point, one question jumps out from the NYT-CBS poll. Asked if the country would be better off if a new political party formed to compete with the Democrats and the Republicans, tea party supporters say no, 52 to 40 percent. In fact, those who support the movement are more apt than others to tilt against a third party.
Another potential impediment for those who envision a quick formation of a political party is that barely 50 percent of those who support the tea party movement say they've heard or read "a lot" about it. Eight percent say they've heard not much or nothing so far.
In the same poll, two-thirds of tea party supporters say they "always" or "usually" vote Republican.
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