The Tea Party Won…Then They Lost

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August 4, 2011 2:00 a.m.

On Tuesday TPM reported on a new Pew study that said the Tea Party and conservative Americans had essentially outworked their liberal counterparts on the debt ceiling debate: Tea Partiers had paid more attention and were more likely to have taken action to influence the outcome of the debt battle.

Then in an interview with CBS, House Speaker John Boehner was happy to be considered the victor in the debt talks, saying he’d been able to get 98% of what he wanted.Funny then, Wednesday’s revelation: that according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll conducted directly after the debt ceiling compromise was signed, the Tea Party doesn’t think it was much of a victory at all. In fact, only 22% of Tea Party supporters even approved of the final agreement. The only general majority that actually did? 58% of Democrats, and 51% of liberals.

Overall, the debt compromise didn’t enjoy much support. Only 39% of respondents were for it, with 46% against. But the report also colorfully notes how little that most people actually know about the agreement. From USA Today:

“People don’t know jack” about the particulars of the agreement, “but what you heard about the process throughout was that it was horrible,” says Joseph White, a political scientist at Case Western Reserve University who studies budget policy. “Most people assume that whatever came out of this horrible process was pretty crappy.”

As for the Tea Party, it seems that on the debt ceiling, even when they win, they lose.

The USA Today/Gallup poll surveyed 1,012 adults by telephone during the night of August 2nd, and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.

Follow this reporter @kyleleighton.

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