Poll: Tea Party Beats Republican Party

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A new Rasmussen poll shows just how much the “Tea Party” movement has taken hold. According to the poll, given the choice between a Democrat, a Republican, and a hypothetical “Tea Party” candidate in their congressional district, 23 percent of Americans say they would vote for the tea partier. Eighteen percent would opt for the Republican, and 36 percent would choose the Democrat. Liberals should resist the temptation to celebrate. The “Tea Party” is not a real political party and most Tea Party voters will settle for voting Republican.

The only way Democrats can capitalize on this will be if Tea Party pressure creates more situations like the one in New York’s twenty-third congressional district earlier this year, where a very conservative independent candidate ended up splitting the GOP-leaning vote with a moderate Republican and allowing the Democrat to win. That seems like it was probably a fluke. In most cases, the more conservative candidate will simply run in the Republican primary and win—and economic conditions in October and November 2010 will largely determine whether or not that candidate wins the general.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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