A new Rasmussen survey found the generic "Tea Party" ticket out-polling Republicans in a three way ballot test, with 23 percent of the vote to the GOP's 18 percent. The news reverberated across the blogosphere, as commentators on the right debated what it means for the Republican Party.

  • Small Government Conservatives Are Fed Up Reason Magazine's Peter Suderman says the survey "underlines what we already knew about the American right--that its energy is not with the Republican party, but with dissident limited-government activists fed up with the two-party system, and in particular with a GOP they no longer trust."
  • Don't Leave the GOP Hot Air's Ed Morrissey says the GOP should co-opt the platform of the Tea Party movement. "The key in 2010 is to have the GOP represent the Tea Party brand, and the only way to do that is to firmly insist on fiscal restrain and reduction of government as the platform for the election. The Right needs to put aside all of its usual hobby horses and focus on the message from the Tea Party movement."
  • GOP Is On Life Support Tim Mak of Frum Forum says the GOP could be overtaken by the Tea Party if it doesn't shape up. "This is a wakeup call for GOP leaders: they will need to find a way to capture the energy of the Tea Party movement, or else be deluged by it."
  • It's Not About Third Parties, It's About Limited Government Robert Stacy McCain of The Other McCain blog warns that the survey doesn't mean the Tea Party movement would be successful as a political party. "This does not mean that an actual third-party movement would be a viable option for disaffected conservatives. It merely points out how important it is that the Republican Party take seriously the limited-government sensibilities of the Tea Party movement."
  • It's Only Temporary The Washington Independent's David Weigel thinks the recession is making Americans more fiscally minded than usual. "Fiscal conservatism, sure, but a lot of that is only in the context of a recession, with people grasping for economic answers. The anti-immigration surge happened in a similar context, with average voters breaking from party orthodoxy to demand answers to a problem that they didn't really have ideological answers for."