Florida Rep. Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, said the results of the closely-watched Ames Straw Poll in Iowa showed that the tea party movement had taken over the Republican Party.
“The only winner tonight was the Tea Party,” she said Saturday in a statement.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann came in first place with 4,823 votes, narrowly beating out Congressman Ron Paul’s 4,671 votes. Both candidates are closely associated with the tea party movement.
The outcome of the poll is an early indicator of a candidate’s appeal and organizational strength.
“All of the Republican candidates have made clear their allegiance to the Tea Party, supporting extreme policies that would hurt the middle class, seniors, and students,” Schultz continued.
“We’re not hearing any new ideas or solutions from Republicans, just the same failed Republican ideas that endangered our economy in the first place. Every single Republican candidate, just like Washington Republicans, is embracing policies that would maintain corporate loopholes and tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, which would force the middle class to bear much of the burden.”
The eight candidates participating in the Fox News Republican Presidential Debate on Thursday all indicated they would refuse to accept tax increases as part of a debt-reduction deal, even with a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases.
“The Ames Straw Poll may be over, but the campaign continues,” Schultz said. “As these Republican candidates travel the country, I have no doubt they’ll make clear to voters where they stand-on the side of large corporations and the wealthiest Americans, not the middle class, seniors, or students.”