A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll asked 1,000 adults about their thoughts on the usual political stuff, including Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. (Most coverage focused on President Obama’s current 6 point advantage over Governor Romney.)
But the poll also asked about the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. Each movement garnered less support than either major presidential candidate, or either the Democratic or Republican Party. Adding the totals for “very positive” and “somewhat positive” for each, we get:
Barack Obama 48%
Mitt Romney 33%
Democratic Party 39%
Republican Party 33%
Tea Party 27%
Occupy Wall Street 25%
The survey reports a margin of error of 3.1 percent, which would be somewhat higher for the Tea Party and Occupy questions, as half the sample was asked about each movement. We shouldn’t make anything, then, of the tiny difference in approval for the two movements. But that each movement polls less support than the parties or their candidates is an interesting development.
Also interesting: 51 percent of the respondents agreed that Occupy had pretty much run its course and was no longer very important, in contrast with 43 percent of the respondents saying the same about the Tea Party. (David Weigel noticed this as well.)
In both cases, most people seem to think that the movements have peaked and passed. Note the different routes they took toward seeming irrelevance:
The Tea Party marched into the Republican primaries at the presidential level and below, and is having difficulty getting much out of that effort. The presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney, is surely the next to last choice of most Tea Partiers.
Occupy, working hard to avoid being coopted by institutional politics, has had a great deal of difficulty in maintaining a national profile–particularly after the Occupations ended–even though a great deal of activity is continuing on a variety of issues, including foreclosure, education, and taxation.
Two movements, two strategies, so far, pretty similar outcomes. Is this inevitable?