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AP Poll: Tea Party Down, Raising Taxes Up

August 26, 2011

This AP-GfK poll does not provide a new shocking finding.  (There is a problem with WordPress today that does not allow me to place a link.)

The  AP results are fitting into a growing narrative as the nation moves towards a presidential election.  Key to the findings are the down-turn for the Tea Party and the desire among independents, a VERY key demographic, that taxes be increased to help solve the fiscal problems.  As I have stated often there is a mood for mature leadership. Politicians that tout a worn-out no-taxes pledge are running against a growing understanding that budget cuts alone will not solve our fiscal woes.

The poll finds the tea party has lost support, Republican House Speaker John Boehner is increasingly unpopular and people are warming to the idea of not just cutting spending but also raising taxes – anathema to the GOP – just as both parties prepare for another struggle with deficit reduction.

They suggest that politicians, regardless of party, have little to gain by prolonging the nation’s most consequential policy debate. And they highlight the gap between the wider public’s wishes now and the tea party’s cut-it-or-shut-it philosophy that helped propel Republicans into the House majority last year.

The survey, conducted Aug. 18-22, found that approval of Congress has dropped to its lowest level in AP-GfK polling – 12 percent. That’s down from 21 percent in June, before the debt deal reached fever pitch.

Much about the next election hinges on independent voters, the ever-growing group fiercely wooed by campaigns for years. These respondents, the poll found, were the least forgiving toward incumbents and shifted substantially toward the need to raise taxes as part of the deficit and debt solution.

Among them, 65 percent say they want their own House representative tossed out in 2012, compared with 53 percent of respondents generally.

This group, too, is helping fuel the shift toward raising taxes as a way to balance the budget. The poll found that among independents, 37 percent now say that increasing taxes should be the focus of the fiscal dealmakers, over cutting government services. That’s up nine points from March, the poll found.

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