More Americans Willing to Vote For Nonexistent Third Party Than GOP


David Sessions looks at the latest poll from Rasmussen and finds more evidence that conservative activists are not pleased with the Republican party:

More Americans would vote for a "Tea Party" candidate than a Republican, according to aRasmussen poll released Monday that quizzed voters on a hypothetical three-way ballot. Respondents were asked to assume that the "Tea Party" was an organized new party, despite the fact that it is highly unlikely the grassroots conservative movement that has gained momentum this year will become a third party.

A majority of Americans said they would vote Democratic (36 percent), while the number who said they would vote "Tea Party" (23 percent) slightly edged out Republican voters (18 percent). Another 22 percent say they were undecided.

Among voters not affiliated with either party, the Tea Partiers had a clear advantage: 33 percent said they would support a Tea Party candidate, compared with 30 percent who said they were undecided, 25 percent Democrat and only 12 percent Republican.

My quick take: This provides more evidence that the break from the GOP we recently witnessed in New York's 23rd district—in which Doug Hoffman overtook the official Republican candidate on a tea party-powered campaign—may not be a fluke or mere regional trend. And it underlines what we already knew about the American right—that its energy is not with the Republican party, but with dissident limited-government activists fed up with the two-party system, and in particular with a GOP they no longer trust. 

Side question: If there were a Tea Party candidate, would he/she represent the Tea Party? Or the Tea Party Party? 

Previously, Reason Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch chronicled his experience with the 9/12 march on Washington and examined charges that tea parties are racist.

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  1. Don’t third parties always do better in these kind of polls than an actual election. After all, you don’t want to “waste” your vote!

    1. Not in the upstate New York race mentioned.

  2. NTBAD: Ross Perot did pretty well until the ninjas got to him. Although, if you are referring to the Libertarian and Green parties, you have a good point.

    1. I believe people still think the Libertarian Party is mostly for nerds. I don’t know who would vote for the Green party…

      1. In my humble opinion, the LP is the reason libertarianism has remained mostly a fringe ideology while the big government parties are given free reign to grow government unchecked. If the LP approached politics from some semblance of pragmatism, incrementalism, moderacy and rational compromise – instead of from an extremist worldview that bears little resemblance to reality and has no interest in attaining real limits on government by working for electoral success over ideological purity – perhaps we wouldn’t be in the state we’re in today.

        1. Compeltely agree – which is why I’m working to bring more “moderates” into the Party and lessen the impact of the anarchists/extremists.

          As you said, if we are to win, we MUST be a Party of “pragmatism, incrementalism, moderacy and rational compromise”

        2. Compeltely agree – which is why I’m working to bring more “moderates” into the Party and lessen the impact of the anarchists/extremists.

          As you said, if we are to win, we MUST be a Party of “pragmatism, incrementalism, moderacy and rational compromise”

          1. We tried this with the Libertarian Reform Caucus a few years ago. Many people in the LP want to do the same thing – I think the bigger problem is that the LP brand is already too damaged beyond repair for most outsiders. We would be better off with at minimum a name change and a platform based upon incremental things that can actually happen within a five year scope – if not complete replacement with a brand new party. I’d also support occupying the Reform Party, which at least has positive name recognition with most people and a logical framework but currently no infrastructure or ideological direction.

      2. I propose that we hijack the Green Party. “Green” can generally refer to 3 things in this case: Money, Eco-consciousness, and Ganja.

        A capitalist party that advocates limited government and individual rights, sustainable and healthy lifestyle that doesn’t destroy the planet, and legalization of marijuana. Bam, cover everything.

        Note, that this doesn’t encourage greedy crony-capitalism and monopolies, it doesn’t blindly follow the first church of the warming globe, and it doesn’t infringe on individuals usage of their own bodies.

        Our ideas are really pretty simple, and as popular as the tea party movement has become, they are lacking a central message. It needs to be simple and enticing. Thoughts?

  3. A majority of Americans said they would vote Democratic (36 percent),

    Majority? That’s not even a majority of those who had a clear preference. Perhaps he’s looking for the word “plurality.”

    1. That whole math and fractions thing is really just too hard for journalists.

      1. I’ve seen anecdotal evidence suggesting that spelling is hard for lawyers.

        1. We all have our blindspots.

          1. Sorry man. I was just hackin on ya.

          2. Not me!

        2. that is a prepostirus

          1. Do you mean Prepostasaurus?

    2. Came here to post this – should’ve known that on H&R others would have ALREADY caught it…

      1. But you don’t understand, Suderman hates republicans. It’s the only reason he posts here and one of the main reasons his work is seldom in the weekly top 5.

  4. But I thought the Tea Parties were just Republican astroturf?

    1. They seem to be mostly the limited government, fiscally conservative wing of the Republican party, plus some libertarians.

      1. I think so to. The GOP establishment wishes they were GOP astroturf. They were anything but. They really are just a spontaneious group of pissed off voters.

  5. What are they going to run as?
    The Anti-Progress Racist Party?

    1. Worked for you.

  6. Of there was another factor in that NY 23 race that shall not be named.

  7. Did reason change it’s name to “The Racist Investigators”?

    If not, maybe this would be a good idea for a spin off publication. the idea being that every movement and political goal(no matter how seemingly unrelated) could be thoroughly investigated to let us know if it is racist or not. if it is decided that said idea,political goal, policy is racist we can stone or lynch the people who are behind whatever racist conspiracy is uncovered.

  8. It’s easy to support a candidate that doesn’t exist- you can imprint any positions you want. Once you bring in an actual candidate who is forced to take actual policy positions, has a voting record, has a personality, etc. you will lose a lot of the people saying they’d vote for a tea party candidate.


    1. “i believe i will vote for a third party candidate.”

    1. They should have invited you. Gillespie’s leather jacket could have been the opening act.

  10. ‘there was another factor in that NY 23 race that shall not be named.’

    Oh, great, John, now you’ve done it – now you’ll summon the trolls, and one of them will make a post like this one, citing a Politico article about how the issue of you-know-what could derail the health care bill, and how a minister told a pro-you-know-what rally that you-know-what is a ‘God-given’ right (so much for separation of Church and State!)

    1. I was actually thinking of a darker, more sinister troll summoning force. One which Suger Free seems content to play with at his great peril I might add.

      1. ooh. don’t look at the right hand ad column..

      2. I thought he was just a myth to frighten little libertarian children.

        1. Wait – you meant Sarah Palin!

          What could be wrong with mentioning the name of Sarah Palin?

          What’s wrong with Sarah Palin?

          1. Im unemployed but I’d adopt her anyway.

            1. With her bankbook and the number of books she is selling and her speaking fees, I would say that is a solid financial decision.

            2. Chick dig guys with jobs.

              1. It’s a good thing I’m married.

        2. No. That is Warty.

          1. Or maybe Steve Smith if you are being particularly cruel.

        3. No. That’s the Lonewacko.

  11. Sweet’n’Low, please tell me that site is another one of your horrible spoofs. Please?

    1. Sorry, no.

  12. Were Chemtrails a factor in the NY 23 race?

  13. A non-existent candidate, running on the non-existent party’s ticket, might get my vote.

  14. I’m working on a book to help Christians understand why the Libertarian party is the best fit for their faith and their pocketbook. If successful (I have faith it will be) libertarians will become the party in power in this country.

    1. I think that is a good plan. The biggest problem is that a lot of libertarian journalists and pundits are dork hipster wannabes. And Christians are anything but hip. Even if you could sell Christians on it, it would take a lot to get libertarian pundits to get over the ick factor of having to be associated with them. Even the chance of winning elections and actually accomplishing something is unlikely to do that.

      1. Actually, I think libertarians would be cool with C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton-type Christians, but I will say that the sort of populism that’s associated with Christianity and American politics is a tough sell with the libertarian “base”.

        1. I’m a big Chesterton fan (and Lewis to a lesser extent), and I *never* get any flak for my views! ?

          1. I think Art is trying to suggest that Lewis and Chesterton are (libertarian-friendly) Christians who don’t want to impose their beliefs on others by sword or legislature.

            1. that’s only because God gave man free will, and left it to the “Christians” to take it away…

            2. I think libertarians, at least at the national level, need to compromise. Let people have their own communities and make their own laws. And get the federal government out of it. If one community wants to have more strict moral laws, let them have it and just don’t live there. If libertarians want to use the federal government and the federal courts to tell the people of Muskogee Oklahoma what their local liquer laws ought to be, they are just as big of pricks as the liberals are.

              1. Yes. Those darn oppressive libertarians, with their centuries of telling poor downtrodden Christians how to live their lives.

                For fuck’s sake, John.

                1. of for fuck sake Suger Free, at least try to read the post and respond. I didn’t say that libertarians were oppressing Christians. I said Libertarians at the national level need to compromise and not worry about individual communities not following libertarian policies. Read fucking post and stop being a prick.

                  1. Yes, let’s compromise until we become the GOP. Awesome. I’ll get right to that.

                    No positive rights, John. Even for Christians.

                    1. What the fuck are you talking about “positive rights” you idiot? Federalism and local autonomy is not positive rights. Why is it so fucking hard for you to not worry about how everyone else is living or how places you will never visit much less live in are governed?

                      Leave people alone means just that. It doesn’t mean running around fucking up people’s communities and associations in the same of whatever sacred cow you have. If you don’t understand that, you are no better than a liberal.

                      And since when does the fucking GOP respect federalism? Be like the GOP. You are on quite a roll of dumbassery today SF.

                    2. So Muskogee is a covenant community? A little oasis where everybody thinks the same and has the same beliefs? Majority rules, right. Fuck the individual.

                      Individuals bowing to the will of community is collectivist bullshit. But since it’s the Christians doing it, it’s just fine and dandy.

                      Christians start leaving people alone, and I’ll stop ragging on them. Remember my last screed about those bastard Amish? Oh, that’s right… there wasn’t one.

              2. John, check out this great article.


                1. That is an interesting article. And they are right, restrictive covenents eliminate most of the harms zoning is supposed to prevent. Voluntary communities and civic association is the answer to fears about loss of government coercion.

                  The question is are willing to live with people actually doing that. When the fundementalist Christians or the Muslims build their end of town and voluntarily agree to live under a set of rules, are you willing to leave them be and let them do it? I think you should be.

                  1. i’ve got no problem with that…

              3. Compromise on strategy, never on principal.

            3. Interesting – Chesterton had great ideas, relevant today. He founded his attack on Socialism upon much firmer ground than (to take one example at random) Ayn Rand.

              But even Chesterton could make unwise concessions to the statist spirit of his age, as he did in this 1928 debate with Socialist writer George Bernard Shaw. Shaw had accused Chesterton’s Distributists – who generally supported private property ownership and opposed the Socialists – with opposing the favorite Socialist nostrum of nationalizing the coal industry. Chesterton replied to this wicked insinuation as follows:

              ‘I am so conscious of that condescension on [Shaw’s] part that I should feel it a very unfair return to ask him to read any of our potty little [Distributist] literature or cast his eye over our little weekly paper or become conscious of the facts we have stated a thousand times. One of these facts, with which every person who knows us is familiar, is our position with regard to the coal question. We have said again and again that in our human state of society there must be a class of things called exceptions. We admit that upon the whole in the very peculiar case of coal it is desirable and about the best way out of the difficulty that it should be controlled by the officials of the State, just in the same way as postage stamps are controlled.’

              1. Were Chesterton posting on H&R today, though he would of course be much more eloquent than me, other posters would throw his heresies in his face to show that he was just another Christer fundamentalist trying to use ‘sword or legislature’ against opponents, even though his coal exception was stated as an exception.

                1. “Christer”

                  One who Christs?

            4. And I’m not sure what H&R posters would make of Chesterton’s The Superstition of Divorce. Although this book makes clear the connections between freedom and what may loosely be described as the traditional family, I don’t think that all libertarians would be receptive to such home truths.

              Here’s a passage I came across through random skimming (it’s been a while – many months – since I read the book through from beginning to end):

              ‘Modern education is founded on the principle that a parent is more
              likely to be cruel than anybody else. It passes over the obvious
              fact that he is less likely to be cruel than anybody else.
              Anybody may happen to be cruel; but the first chances of cruelty come
              with the whole colourless and indifferent crowd of total strangers
              and mechanical mercenaries, whom it is now the custom to call in as
              infallible agents of improvement; policemen, doctors, detectives,
              inspectors, instructors, and so on. They are automatically given
              arbitrary power because there are here and there such things as
              criminal parents; as if there were no such things as criminal doctors
              or criminal school-masters. A mother is not always judicious about
              her child’s diet, so it is given into the control of Dr. Crippen.
              A father is thought not to teach his sons the purest morality;
              so they are put under the tutorship of Eugene Aram.
              These celebrated criminals are no more rare in their respective
              professions than the cruel parents are in the profession of parenthood. But indeed the case is far stronger than this; and there is no need to rely on the case of such criminals at all. The ordinary weaknesses of human nature will explain all the weaknesses of bureaucracy and business government all over the world. The official need only be an ordinary man to be more indifferent to other people’s children than to his own; and even to sacrifice other people’s family prosperity to his own. He may be bored; he may be bribed; he may be brutal, for any one of the thousand reasons that ever made a man a brute. All this elementary common sense is entirely left out of account in our educational and social systems of today. It is assumed that the hireling will not flee, and that solely because he is a hireling. It is denied that the shepherd will lay down his life for the sheep; or for that matter, even that the she-wolf will fight for the cubs. We are to believe that mothers are inhuman; but not that officials are human. There are unnatural parents, but there are no natural passions; at least, there are none where the fury of King Lear dared to find them–in the beadle. Such is the latest light on the education of the young; and the same principle that is applied to the child is applied to the husband and wife. Just as it assumes that a child will
              certainly be loved by anybody except his mother, so it assumes that a man can be happy with anybody except the one woman he has
              himself chosen for his wife.’

              1. Great stuff

              2. Hmmm . . . I wonder what G. K. Chesterton would have thought about gay ‘marriage’?

                I guess we’ll never know.

                And I suppose we’ll never know whether C. S. Lewis would have been a supporter of traditional marriage.

      2. I think that book could work.

  15. It’s easy to support a candidate that doesn’t exist- you can imprint any positions you want. Once you bring in an actual candidate who is forced to take actual policy positions, has a voting record, has a personality, etc. you will lose a lot of the people

    Tell the President that.

  16. Oh, God. It has to be. Please.

  17. I think the way the Libertarian Party put’s NOTA on the ballot would be helpful. What would happen if NOTA had the majority of votes in the next Presidential Election?

    1. They would have elected Obama and claimed a “mandate” based on the electoral vote count.

      1. Anything to bring FDR from the dead… bastards

    2. NOTA probably wouldn’t get many electoral votes.

  18. put’s= puts

  19. In a move of almost paralyzing irony, Jezebel creates a open reader forum and then titles it “Groupthink.”

  20. Call it the Liberty Party. It gets away from the Tea Party but still has the Sons of Liberty connection. And it is also different enough to separate from those Libertarians who, from what I hear, are all pot-smokers going after Bill O’Reilly’s family.

  21. Why are people using the NY-23 campaign as evidence of anything? Yes, if Republicans nominate fat ugly liberal RINO women in races with no political IQ, the Dems will win. But somehow I don’t see that happening much next year.

  22. like in the NY 23rd district election anyone running outside of the 2 major parties as the “tea party candidate” will be running as a libertarian, constitution, tax payers, conservative, reform, etc. party. I have a feeling many would end up using the existing third parties on the ballot.

    1. I meant to say many tea party candidates will end up using one of the existing third parties in their state that is somewhat close to their platform instead of bothering to create a new party.

  23. I say we go for a national Connecticut for Lieberman party.

  24. This nigger hasn’t done SHIT!!!

    – Medicinally Marijuana policy is a bunch of BULLSHIT… A useless executive order that can be reversed the day after he’s been kicked out of office.

    – His Gay policy sucks. Dont-ask-Dont-Tell is still in action and faggots are being kicked out of the military.

    – Gay marriage is going no-where

    – War War War War War War… I voted for him to STOP WAR. Now, he’s getting a Nobel PEACE prize and is continuing BOTH WARS

    – No Universal Healthcare


    I’ll vote for anyone except:
    – Sarah Palin
    – Dick Cheney
    – Talk show host from RIGHT-WING such as Rush or Ann Coulter

    I’m ready to vote REPUBLICAN and DESTROY this BULLSHIT Democratic party.

    Obama is nothing more than a REPUBLICAN NIGGER acting like a Democrat.

    1. I’m not certain n***** is needed here.

      1. Just ignore the she-male, Gobbler. It’s really more like an epileptic fit than a comment.

        Imagine if someone with Tourette’s and explosive diarrhea could somehow go the bathroom on-line.

    2. Offensive and unnecessary. -3


    3. My deepest appologies…take the N word out…and LEAVE EVERYTHING ELSE IN !!!

  25. Yes, if Republicans nominate fat ugly liberal RINO women in races with no political IQ, the Dems will win. But somehow I don’t see that happening much next year.

    Why not? Have the Republican panjandrums suddenly grown a brain?

  26. I really don’t care what colour the next president is…I want a PROGRESSIVE to run against HIM. If not, I’ll vote in GWB back in. There would be no significant difference bringing him back anyway.

    1. the GWB word is almost as offensive as the N-word.

    2. Do me a favor and don’t vote. My liberty will thank you later.

    3. Out of curiosity, what do you mean by progressive? Progressive in the sense of “government solves everything” or progressive in the sense of making sure any government policies don’t have disproportionate negative impacts on the poor?

      – Should the poor be forced to pay highly regressive gas taxes and undergo regressive, expensive emissions inspections in the name of environmentalism?
      – Should they be forced to remain in low-income, low-quality government schools with no choice even among the government schools?
      – Is some poor people losing low-skilled jobs collateral damage so others can make a higher minimum wage?
      – Should the government stop spending money into debt which will later be paid for by printing money, thus causing inflation which will disproportionately burden the poor?
      – Do you believe sweeping business regulations don’t disproportionately impact small business who have neither the legal nor financial infrastructure to find loopholes and bribe politicians to get around them? – Do you think politicians on the Left really care about real, long-term economic impacts on poor people when they make these policies?

  27. Isn’t this similar to how “Democrat” polled better against Bush in 2004 than any actual named Democrat did? (This is true for most elections.) People project their ideal candidate when they are generic.

  28. The biggest problem for the GOP is the lack of trust. 8 years of giving away the farm under Bush and Co destroyed a LOT of credibility.

    The GOP seems to do fine in opposition, but doesn’t understand how to govern yet.

  29. A plague on both your parties!

  30. This poll can’t be right. I thought conservative activist were going to “takeover” The GOP. Say it ain’t so!

  31. I frankly could care less if Obama gets re-elected in 2012 – what I really want is the GOP to get back enough of Congress to prevent most of the bad crap from happening. The GOP’s downfall was one-party rule, and I would be just as afraid if the GOP took over all the branches now as I am of the Democrats.

  32. I still predict that the Repubs are gonna go back to the foot of the cross to salvage the party. They don’t know what else to do and it worked so well in the past. They’ll promise small govt and less taxes and conservative everything else. It will fail and the dems will gain more seats. Both in 2010 and 2012. Obama will be re-elected.

  33. Ever since I have been voting, I have wasted my vote…no more. We have more choices in the auto market than the marketplace of political parties. Maybe if we didn’t allow the two parties to make the hurdle so high for a third party candidate to get on the ballot, we would have more than Bad and Worse from which to choose.

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