GOP Now #3 Behind Democrats, "Tea Party." Here's How D's and R's Should React.

For a new party-preference poll, Rasmussen got a little creative, with humorous results. They asked people which party they liked: the Republicans, the Democrats, or a speculative "Tea Party" affiliated with those obstreperous anti-government rallies around the nation. The Dems got 36 percent, the Tea Party 23 percent, and the Republicans 18 percent. This put the GOP behind "Undecided," which drew 22 percent, despite the wealth of choices.

"It is unlikely that a true third-party option would perform as well as the polling data indicates," cautions Rasmussen. Nonetheless the poll suggests ways in which both major parties might seek to take advantage:

The Republicans should just say the hell with it, abandon their traditional apparatus and principle, and go full metal wingnut. Some of the brethren are off to a good start with the recent Republican National Committee "purity test," but it doesn't go far enough. There's no mention on the test of Obama's birth certificate, nor any strong stand against the Democratic plan to rape Sarah Palin. If you want to catch tea partiers, the meat has to be redder than rural Alabama.

The Democrats should get back to their Hope and Change platform, and abandon President Obama. They may have already started: the "Blue Dogs" disagree with the President from the Right, and many liberals are splitting with him on Afghanistan. All they have to do is take the extra step. It's not like personal loyalty is at a premium with these guys; as recently as two years ago, everyone expected the Democrats to embrace and nominate Hillary Clinton.

Or one of the parties can come out strong against the highly unpopular bank bailouts. But what are the chances of that?

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