South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, one of the Tea Party's early superstars, has seen her approval ratings fall, and some of her core supporters are baffled by Haley's endorsement of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Haley won election in 2010 as a true fiscal conservative, capturing the endorsement of Sarah Palin, who said Haley was willing to challenge the good old boys of the state's politics.
Talk with Tea Party leaders here in South Carolina and you quickly realize that the toughest job in the Mitt Romney campaign would be the assignment of doing outreach to these activists. Maybe not a mission impossible, but close.
They really want no part of Romney. And there appears to be little he could say or do between now and Jan. 21, the date of the South Carolina primary, to change that.
The Massachusetts health law Romney enacted as governor with its individual mandate called Romneycare by critics is just one of several reasons they give for their animus.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
More than a week after presidential candidate Herman Cain was confronted with sexual harassment accusations, he appears to be holding on to his base of support. Most polls show him still leading the other Republican candidates.
It was one year ago that the Tea Party movement helped Republicans take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. With the presidential election a year away, the movement finds itself searching for ways to have the same kind of impact this time around.
The Tea Party celebrated on election night last year with candidates like Rand Paul, who captured a Senate seat in Kentucky.
"Tonight there's a Tea Party tidal wave, and we're sending a message to them," Paul said in his victory speech.
As Democrats accuse Republican congressional leaders of being co-opted by the Tea Party in the federal budget negotiations, a new survey shows that half of all conservative voters ardently support the movement.