South Florida Tea Party: One-Third of Members Want Allen West Replaced, According to Poll

An internal internet poll from the South Florida Tea Party currently shows that 33 percent of its members support running a new candidate against Rep. Allen West in next year's election due to his vote on the debt deal.

Of course, we should mention this is a highly unscientific polling method, although based on members' conversations of the poll, there seems to be a lot of support for a new Tea Party candidate to run against West in next year's primary election.

With 3,788 votes cast as of around 9 a.m. today, 33 percent say that "they," including West, "voted for a bad bill and need to be replaced."

Still, the majority wants to keep West around, at least for now -- 40 percent responded, "They voted for a bad bill and deserve more chances," and just 23 percent said, "They did the best deal they could." Three percent remained undecided.

Raising the debt ceiling has been a strongly opposed concept in the minds of Tea Party apparatchiks, and headlines that mention West and Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz planning to "link arms" on the debt deal isn't making West any new Tea Party pals.

There is interesting discourse taking place on the South Florida Tea Party website about what should be done with West -- one says West's support of the debt plan is "one of the fastest corruptions I've seen in my adult life," another says it would be "crazy" to drop support for West, some are delving into political history, and at least one says he or she likes West, at least in part, because he's "handsome."

West has been called a Tea Party "defector" by a national Tea Party organization, and three Tea Party groups -- the Tea Party Express, Tea Party Nation, and United West -- have threatened finding opponents to run against West in next year's primary in response to the congressman's support of raising the debt deal.

That's what led West to identify the "schizophrenia" of the Tea Party:

"If the folks who one minute they're saying that I'm their 'Tea Party hero' and what, three or four days later I'm a 'Tea Party defector' -- that kind of schizophrenia, I'm not going to get involved in it," West said last week on Laura Ingraham's radio show.

He seems to still have a majority of the support from the local Tea Party folks, but the loss of the national support -- and possibly the national cash -- could pose major problems for West next year.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley