The Tea Party movement is expected to have a big impact on the 2010 election. But could a candidate endorsed by this conservative, populist movement have the “Ralph Nader-effect” on a Republican Party-endorsed  candidate in a three-way general election?


The Tea Party movement is expected to have a big impact on the 2010 election. But could a candidate endorsed by this conservative, populist movement have the “Ralph Nader-effect” on a Republican Party-endorsed  candidate in a three-way general election?
Wayne County Republican Committee Chairman Frank Golden said he’s not worried about the local Tea Party siphoning votes from Republicans.
 “The Tea Party people aren’t stupid enough to vote for a third party candidate that would get someone else elected,” he said. “They are common-sense-fiscal-conservatives and I am delighted with the Tea Party movement” he said.
A recent CNN/Opinion Research poll found that most Tea Party activists label themselves as “Independents,” but 87 percent say they would vote for the Republican candidate if there were no third-party candidate endorsed by the Tea Party.
 “The Tea Party movement is not a political machine like the Republican Party,” said Lori Sheard, a local Tea Party activist. “The Republicans have no authority over the Tea Party,” she said. “I personally would support a candidate who is in line with my moral values.”
“It’s their right and freedom to support whoever they like,” said Golden.
According to the CNN/Opinion Research poll, of the individuals polled, 64 percent favored a third political party to run for either President, Congress or state offices. 34 percent were opposed to the third political party idea, and 2 percent had no opinion.
Of the 64 percent who were favorable, 38 percent would favor a third political party if having a third political party would mean that the winner of some elections would be a candidate who disagrees with them on most issues. 26 percent opposed the third political party under those circumstances.
The poll was conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation and consisted of interviews with 1,023 adult Americans, including 954 registered voters between February 12-15, 2010. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points and for registered voters is plus or minus 3 percentage points.