Washington (CNN) – Activists in the Tea Party movement tend to be male, rural, upscale, and overwhelmingly conservative, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday also indicates that Tea Party activists would vote overwhelmingly Republican in a two-party race for Congress. The party's GOP leanings, the poll suggests, may pose a problem for the Tea Party movement if it tries to turn itself into a third party to compete with the two major parties in this year's general election.
"If the Tea Party runs its own candidates for U.S. House, virtually every vote the Tea Party candidate gets would be siphoned from the GOP candidate, potentially allowing the Democrats to win in districts that they might have otherwise lost," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "While the concept of an independent third party is extremely popular, most Americans, including most Tea Party supporters, don't favor a third party that would result in a winner who disagrees with them on most major issues."
According to the survey, roughly 11 percent of all Americans say they have actively supported the Tea Party movement, either by donating money, attending a rally, or taking some other active step to support the movement. Of this core group of Tea Party activists, 6 of 10 are male and half live in rural areas.
Nearly three quarters of Tea Party activists attended college, compared to 54 percent of all Americans, and more than three in four call themselves conservatives.
Washington (CNN) – The Democratic National Committee and its Republican counterpart released dueling web videos on Wednesday, the one-year anniversary of the passage of the stimulus bill.
Both videos focus on the massive spending measure - but present wildly different views on its impact.
The DNC video, entitled "GOP: Recovery Act Hypocrites," blasts Republicans who sought stimulus funds in their districts after voting against the bill. The video specifically targets the GOP House leadership, including Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia.
"Almost every single Republican in Congress voted no on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but despite that opposition nearly 90 Republicans sought recovery funds for their own district or bragged about the recovery funds they brought home," the ad's narrator says. "Republicans don't want to acknowledge that the Recovery Act has created jobs, many of them in their own districts."
(Read a statement from Sen. McConnell and the DNC after the jump)
TOPICS: Tea Party movement
Washington (CNN) – Sarah Palin expressed outrage at a Fox Broadcasting Company television program for deriding people with Down syndrome and making an apparent reference to her 22-month-old son, Trig, who has the genetic disorder.
The former Alaska governor said on her Facebook page that she was too angry to offer a coherent response so she had her daughter, Bristol, release a full statement on the family’s behalf.
The Palins directed their criticism at the prime time Fox cartoon, “Family Guy.” In Sunday’s episode, a teenaged female character with Down syndrome told another character that “my mom is the former governor of Alaska.” A song and dance routine by another character also used language that ridiculed people with disabilities.
“People are asking me to comment on yesterday’s Fox show that felt like another kick in the gut,” Palin, a Fox News contributor, said in the statement posted Monday evening on her Facebook page. “Bristol was one who asked what I thought of the show that mocked her baby brother, Trig (and/or others with special needs), in an episode yesterday. Instead of answering, I asked her what she thought. Here is her conscientious reply, which is a much more restrained and gracious statement than I want to make about an issue that begs the question, ‘when is enough, enough?’”
Bristol Palin’s statement was posted below her mother’s Facebook entry.
“When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin,” Bristol Palin said. “My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them?
(CNN) – It appears former President George W. Bush isn't following the Senate Republican primary in Florida as closely as many members of his party.
Bush, appearing at the Naples Town Hall Distinguished Speaker Series on Tuesday, joked that he had never heard of Marco Rubio.
Rubio, of course, is the former Florida House Speaker and conservative favorite who recent polls suggest is locked in a tight race with Gov. Charlie Crist.
"Who the hell is Marco Rubio?" Bush said when asked about his thoughts on the election, according to local television station WINK.
Bush appeared to be joking, the station reported.
A spokesman for Bush told CNN the former president "of course knows who Marco Rubio is."
" He knows him, and he respects him," Spokesman David Sherzer said. "For anyone to use this quote out of context is a shame."
Jeb Bush, the ex-Florida governor and brother of the former president, also took part in the town hall event and said he is not taking sides in the divisive Senate primary.
While the national party quickly lined up behind Crist's candidacy last year, Rubio has won support from a steady stream of conservatives, most recently from Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Rubio heads to Washington later this week for a series of fundraisers and an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Committee.
(CNN) - Two days after Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh shocked fellow Democrats with his decision not to run for reelection, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine pledged that the party will field a top-flight candidate to defend the seat.
"We're going to have a marquee candidate in Indiana," Kaine told CNN's Kiran Chetry on American Morning on Wednesday. "There isn't any reason for Democrats to walk around with sad faces."
Kaine did not indicate who that candidate might be. The top two prospects appear to be Indiana Reps. Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill.
Hill, who is out of the country this week, has remained silent on his plans. Ellsworth has indicated that he is actively considering a run and will make up his mind shortly.
"I don't want to hold it to exactly a week, but I wouldn't think that kind of stuff takes much longer than that, and I know that [Indiana Democrats] are going to want to find somebody to get busy running," Ellsworth told the Evansville Courier & Press on Tuesday.
(CNN) - The Tea Party is headed to Las Vegas this summer.
Tea Party Nation, the group that earlier this month held what was billed as the first national Tea Party convention, said Wednesday that its second convention will be held in Las Vegas July 15-17.
Judson Phillips, a Tennessee lawyer who formed Tea Party Nation, announced the date at a news conference during the first event, which was held earlier this month in Nashville, Tennessee. But he did not reveal the location.
"President Obama told Americans not to go to Las Vegas so that is exactly where Tea Party Nation will be holding our next event," Tea Party Nation said in a statement.
That's a reference to recent comments made by the president. Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada told the White House to "lay off Las Vegas" after Obama slighted the city during a riff about government spending. The president's comments also sparked condemnations from Nevada Republicans.
In addition to speakers and political trainers at the convention, the Las Vegas event will "also be presenting the first Tea Party Nation Conservative Film Festival," according to the Tea Party Nation.
– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby contributed to this report.
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CNNMoney: Stimulus spending: $32 billion per month
The pace of stimulus spending should pick up in coming months, according to administration officials. The federal government expects to distribute $32 billion in Recovery Act funds per month, up from an average $27 billion a month over the past year, according to Vice President Joe Biden, who will release his annual stimulus progress report on Wednesday.
USA Today: Stimulus funds going to slashed programs
More than $3.5 billion in economic stimulus funds are going to programs that President Obama wants to eliminate or trim in his new budget.
CNN: Obama to create debt commission Thursday
President Obama will sign an executive order Thursday setting up a bipartisan fiscal commission to weigh proposals aimed at reining in the soaring federal debt, according to a White House official.
Investors Business Daily: Conoco, Caterpillar, BP Quit Alliance For Cap-And-Trade
The nation's capital is still scooping up last week's snow, but at least one thing appears to be melting fast: the business and environmental coalition pushing for cap-and-trade climate legislation.
CNN: Obama's nuclear power push faces obstacle: Waste
President Obama's announcement Tuesday of loan guarantees for nuclear power plants may encourage new construction, but a problem still remains that has plagued atomic energy for decades: what to do with nuclear waste?
CNN: Steele appeases Tea Party activists in lengthy meeting
An uneasy truce may have been reached between the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party after Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele spent nearly four hours Tuesday trying to calm the fears of Tea Party leaders who worry that the GOP is out to co-opt their grassroots energy ahead of the 2010 midterm elections.
New York Times: Paterson Aide’s Quick Rise Draws Scrutiny
David W. Johnson has worked for Gov. David A. Paterson for much of his adult life. He began as a young, ambitious intern from Harlem when Mr. Paterson was a state legislator. He rose to be Mr. Paterson’s driver, serving as a kind of protector and scheduler. A review of Mr. Johnson’s rise and his history, undertaken after he emerged as perhaps the man closest to the state’s chief executive, shows that he was twice arrested on felony drug charges as a teenager, including a charge of selling cocaine to an undercover officer in Harlem.