The limited appeals of a far-right ‘platform’

THE LIMITED APPEALS OF A FAR-RIGHT ‘PLATFORM’…. It’s still fairly common to hear the Tea Party crowd refer to its broad appeal among Americans of different parties and ideologies. One of these days, they’re really going to have to drop the nonsense.

The conservative “tea party” movement appeals almost exclusively to supporters of the Republican Party, bolstering the view that the tea party divides the GOP even as it has energized its base.

That conclusion, backed by numbers from a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, also suggests that the tea party may have little room for growth. Most Americans — including large majorities of those who don’t already count themselves as supporters — say they’re not interested in learning more about the movement. A sizable share of those not already sympathetic to the tea party also say that the more they hear, the less they like the movement.

We should also get over the notion that somehow, this is a “movement” that’s sweeping the nation — only 8% of Tea Party supporters (about 2% of the larger population) claim to be “active participants.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.