We’ve previously discussed how the Tea Party could complicate things for Republicans in Nevada. A new poll shows that could be the same for GOP candidates across the map.
A new Quinnipiac poll says Republicans lead the generic poll, but if you throw a Tea Party candidate into the mix as a third choice, and the Democrat wins with a plurality.
While voters say 44 - 39 percent that they will vote for a Republican over a Democratic candidate in this November's Congressional elections, if there is a Tea Party candidate on the ballot, the Democrat would get 36 percent to the Republican's 25 percent, with 15 percent for the Tea Party candidate.
"The Tea Party could be a Republican dream – or a GOP nightmare. Members could be a boon to the GOP if they are energized to support Republican candidates. But if the Tea Party were to run its own candidates for office, any votes its candidate received would to a very great extent be coming from the GOP column," said Quinnipiac assistant director Peter A. Brown.
The poll also finds that the tea party is made up mostly of people who consider themselves Republicans.
- 74 percent are Republicans or independent voters leaning Republican;
- 16 percent are Democrats or independent voters leaning Democratic;
- 5 percent are solidly independent;
- 45 percent are men;
- 55 percent are women;
- 88 percent are white;
- 77 percent voted for Sen. John McCain in 2008;
- 15 percent voted for President Barack Obama.