It’s jumped considerably since the 2008 election.
But do people really want the Tea Party to be the third way?
My gut tells me that most folks understand that the Tea Partiers are just really angry conservatives who are lashing out at their own for supporting fiscally irresponsible behavior. And yes, there are some independents who identify with that too, but once those folks scratch the surface of the Tea Party, I guarantee 90% of them will not like what they find. And the other 10% were conservatives who just liked to call themselves independents.
And to that point, note how the number of conservatives wanting a third party has shot up more than any other group. Coincidence?
Still, liberals and independents want a third way more and I think there’s appetite for a moderate left/middle progressive-lite alternative to the Tea Party message. One that stresses fiscal responsibility, social justice and basic fairness…all wrapped up in a populist “let’s get back to work” message. It won’t happen in the next election cycle, but don’t be surprised if it pops up in 2016 if Obama wins or Obama loses in 2012.
Either way, it’s on the horizon.
What say you?