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Tea party unpopularity at an all-time high: poll

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Two months after they voted in droves to topple Democrats from the House and expand Republican voices in the Senate, the tea party movement’s disapproval ratings have reached a new high, according to a new ABC/Washington Post poll.

Fifty-two percent of the US public had an unfavorable view of “the political movement known as the Tea Party,” the survey found, as opposed to only 35 percent who approved.

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“Nearly three-quarters of Democrats — including as many moderate and conservative as liberal members of the party — have negative views of the political movement, as do half of all independents,” the Post reported.

The same poll conducted in September found that 45 percent disapproved of the movement, while 36 percent supported it. Last March, its favorable rating exceeded its negative by a margin of 41 to 39 percent.

The shift may reflect a populace growing uncomfortable with the divisiveness of the tea party’s designated leaders, such as former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Fox News host Glenn Beck, and Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann.

Surveys have consistently found that tea party supporters, though independent in self-description, largely reflect the staunchest conservatives in the Republican Party.

A Gallup poll last summer found that 79 percent of tea partyers identify as leaning Republican, while a whopping 62 percent called themselves “conservative Republican.”

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Forty percent of the electorate in November’s midterms described themselves as tea party supporters, according to exit polls, reflecting, if anything, strong political enthusiasm. Tea party voters helped Republicans retake the House by a dramatic margin of 241-174, voting for GOP candidates by a massive 86-11 percent gap.

The fractured movement comprising thousands of groups across the nation began organizing under the “tea party” banner shortly after President Barack Obama took office, voicing rabid disapproval with taxes, spending and deficits.

The ABC/Post poll also found a five-point uptick in Obama’s approval ratings during the last month, clocking in at 54 percent, as opposed to 43 who disapprove of his performance.

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Maddow reports Florida governor is letting ‘coronavirus-denialist megachurch guy’ hold huge services

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On Sunday, the River Church in Tampa was packed with parishioners despite the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic.

The following day, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister arrested Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for violating the county's social distancing rules.

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Here’s how Christian Nationalists have shaped the federal government’s response to coronavirus

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On Thursday, appearing on the Slate radio show "The Gist" with Mike Pesca, journalist Catherine Stewart outlined some of the ways the Christian Right is responsible for the federal government's disastrous response to coronavirus.

"The coronavirus pandemic is real wrath-of-God type stuff, isn't it?" said Pesca. "Well, there are some people who are waiting for this, who are ready for this, and who, quite scarily, have been tasked with the response."

"It's a complex question, and I think that Christian Nationalism, which is what we're dealing with here, is not a religion," said Stewart. "Many evangelicals are doing very positive things, many religious people are doing a lot of positive things in this situation with the coronavirus. But Christian Nationalism is not a religion, it's a political ideology that cloaks itself in religious rhetoric. And it's a movement that put Trump in power."

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Jared Kushner ripped by NYT columnist: He will ‘get us all killed’ with his incompetence

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On Thursday, writing for The New York Times, columnist Michelle Goldberg laid into President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who appeared at the day's coronavirus press conference to blame states for the federal government's slow response.

"Reporting on the White House’s herky-jerky coronavirus response, Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman has a quotation from Jared Kushner that should make all Americans, and particularly all New Yorkers, dizzy with terror," wrote Goldberg. "According to Sherman, when New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, said that the state would need 30,000 ventilators at the apex of the coronavirus outbreak, Kushner decided that Cuomo was being alarmist. 'I have all this data about I.C.U. capacity,' Kushner reportedly said. 'I'm doing my own projections, and I've gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators.'"

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