If you're looking for an early indicator of how Tea Party brand will influence next year's elections, look no further than Gallup's first heat check of the 2012 congressional cycle. The organization asked voters how a Tea Party endorsement of a particular candidate would affect their vote. Short answer: its a turn off. "The effect is nearly 2-to-1 negative, with 42% saying they would be less likely to vote for such a candidate versus 23% saying they would be more likely. About a third say it would make no difference or are unsure," Gallup found. Even Republicans aren't enthralled with a Tea endorsement: 44 percent said it would be help and 42 percent said it wouldn't matter. As far as Democrats, only 8 percent said they'd like a Tea Party-minted candidate.
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