A plurality of independent voters would prefer that Tea Party-inspired members of Congress influence policies as opposed to Obama, a new Gallup poll reveals.
The poll found that 32 percent of independents want Republican members of Congress supported by Tea Parties to have the most influence over federal government policies, compared with 25 percent who say President Obama. An additional 23 percent said Republican leaders in Congress and 11 percent said Democratic leaders.
Over the past four election cycles, the voting preferences of independents have fluctuated wildly, leading to dramatic shifts in the balance of power in Washington. In the wake of the election, many commentators have argued that Republicans risk alienating independent voters by catering to Tea Party activists. But as we see from this poll, the reality is a bit more complicated. While the policy preferences of Tea Party supported candidates may not be favored by a majority of independents, they’re still more popular than the rest of the crowd in Washington.
Among all voters, Obama was favored by 28 percent, compared with 27 percent for the Tea Party supported members — owing to the overwhelming unpopularity of the Tea Party among Democrats.