Gallup says the American people, by a surprisingly large majority, believe that it is "very important" or "somewhat important" that the GOP take tea party positions and objectives into account when governing the country:
About 7 in 10 national adults, including 88% of Republicans, say it is important that Republican leaders in Congress take the Tea Party movement's positions and objectives into account as they address the nation's problems. Among Republicans, 53% rate this "very important."
These results are from a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Jan. 14-16, prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.
Although few Democrats (6%) are supporters of the Tea Party or even have a favorable view of it (11%), more than half say it is important that the Republican Party take the Tea Party's positions into account. Why this is the case is unclear, although Democrats may simply feel that the opposing party should pay attention to all of its constituencies.
Perhaps underscoring the same principle, Republicans overwhelmingly feel their leaders should take the Tea Party's positions into account, even though barely half are self-identified as Tea Party supporters.
Significantly, 72% of independents believe tea party goals are "very important" or "somewhat important." Clearly, all but hard core Democrats and leftists believe less spending, regulation, and government deserve to be taken seriously as policy positions.
Let's see if this bucks up the GOP leadership to bite hard and stand up to Obama so that we can start the long process of returning to fiscal sanity.