A new ABC News/Washington Post poll suggests that this Tea Party movement could be cooling off:
"Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the political movement known as the Tea Party?" the survey asked.
Thirty-six percent gave thumbs-up to the Tea Party, while 50 percent had a "Somewhat" or "Strongly" unfavorable view. Fourteen percent had no opinion.
Support for the right-wing populist movement was down from 41 percent in March.
What accounts for this change? It's unclear. Dave Weigel suggests that Rand Paul's naive and incendiary ruminations about racial discrimination alienated people who had one foot in the Tea Party camp. But I wouldn't be surprised if the oil spill actually made a lot of people rethink the Tea Party doctrine that 1) enterprise should be freer of regulation and 2) environmental problems are way overblown and 3) the government should just get out of the way because people can take care of themselves.