Let me preface this by noting that I am not criticizing Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling for suggesting the below. Tom is an open Democrat, and his polling firm is openly Democratic-leaning; he wants the GOP to lose and the Democrats to win. That’s his right, and he doesn’t try to hide it. Tom also doesn’t try to hide what turns out to be bad news for his side: PPP was reporting on the GOP pickups in NJ & MA while more ostensibly neutral polling firms were massaging the data to make the results look more ambiguous. So I’m not offended by this:
Here’s the big question: should Democrats be giving financial assistance to these ‘Tea Party’ candidates to get on the ballot as independents? It may seem like an odd concept but Republicans certainly did it with Ralph Nader and that paid off for them. There are going to be a lot of races decided by 4 points or less this fall and right wing independents pulling 5% could get some Democrats reelected this year even if they can only pull 48% of the vote. I’d love to see a Democratic group formed that raises money to do mail and media for Tea Party candidates portraying them as the only ‘real conservative’ in the race- unconventional means might be necessary to save some seats this year.
I just know that it won’t work… and maybe Tom Jensen knows it, too. He himself is scrupulous about calling Tea Party folks ‘Tea Party’ folks: he’s so scrupulous about doing it, in fact, that it’s clear that he knows how offensive the more common alternative is to Tea Party folks. Fortunately, Tom’s fellow-Democrats have been a lot less scrupulous about avoiding offense… and the Tea Party folks are well aware of that. To put it simply, while they may not like the Republicans’ leadership overmuch, they absolutely despise the Democrats’. The Democrats and their cheerleaders call them nasty names every day, right to their face: which makes the Democrats’ openly supporting a third party candidate a kiss of death for that candidate.
And it makes quietly supporting a third party candidate something much, much worse: it makes it a conspiracy.
But, again, I can’t blame Tom. What else does his party have, right now?