For almost a month the mainstream media have declared the Tea Party dead - are you listening, E.J. Dionne? - as a result of the government shutdown.
However, a new Rasmussen poll finds that an equal number of Americans identify with the Tea Party's views as do Obama's:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters think the president’s views are closest to their own when it comes to the major issues facing the country. But just as many (42%) say their views come closest to those of the average Tea Party member instead. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.
To be fair, the number of people identifying with the Tea Party has dropped from 48 percent in April 2010, but this seems minor given all the attacks on it from the left and their media minions.
Also of note, Americans identify more with the Tea Party than members of Congress:
Thirty-four percent (34%) now believe their personal views are closest to those of the average member of Congress when it comes to the major issues of the day. But slightly more (36%) say their views are closest to those of the average member of the Tea Party. A sizable 30%, however, are not sure.
Another interesting finding:
32% feel the Tea Party has become more influential over the past year, up from 25% in late August before the shutdown began.Twenty-eight percent (28%) say the Tea Party is less influential now. Thirty-three percent (33%) say the group’s influence is about the same.
And finally, despite all the attacks on the Tea Party in recent weeks, the number of people believing it's bad for the nation has changed little since January.
So keep this all in mind when liberal media members talk about the imminent demise of this still very powerful conservative movement.