Reality Check: Tea Party support waning

(FOX19) - According to polls taken by CNN, Gallup, and The Washington Post, the Tea Party's favorability rating is on the decline.

In fact, for the first time ever a majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of what's now known by many as "the party within the Republican Party" with the biggest drop coming after the 16-day partial government shutdown.

FOX19's Scott Schneider asked Matt Bevin, Tea Party Candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, why the shutdown was so damaging.

"Millions of people had their lives disrupted for utterly irresponsible reasons. I think it was irresponsible to shut the government down," says Bevin.

The numbers certainly back his claim: In a Pew Research Survey taken after the shutdown, Tea Party support dropped not only among democrats and independents, but among republicans as well.

Many of those surveyed blame the Tea Party for using the budget battle to try and kill Obamacare. However, in fairness to the Tea Party, democrats have also seen their numbers take a hit: 31 percent now identify themselves as supporters of the Democratic Party, down from 36 percent four years ago.

But the news is far worse for the GOP. Only 25 percent of those polled identify themselves as republicans -- a 25-year low. Bevin acknowledges his party is in some trouble saying quote:

"People feel that we've lost our way, that we've lost the core values the party was built on."

Bevin squares off against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky's May primary, one of half a dozen senate races this year pitting Tea Party candidates against republican incumbents, but the bottom line is this - the government shutdown has taken a toll on the Tea Party that it may not soon recover from.