by Andrew Kohut, President, Pew Research Center
Special to the New York Times

The findings of the New York Times/CBS News Poll of Tea Party supporters augur well for the Republicans in November’s midterm elections: the politically energized supra conservatives — the one in five who are universally disaffected with national conditions, and with Barack Obama and with his policies — are likely to be a strong advantage in the midterms, where typically fewer than four of 10 eligible citizens vote.

The boost that Tea Party supporters give Republican candidates may be especially decisive this year given how politically asleep the Democrats appear. In every poll the latter register as far less enthusiastic about voting than do Republicans generally, not to mention Tea Party adherents.

So if you are a Republican, what’s not to like about the Tea Party movement? From this vantage point, a number of risks seem possible, if not probable.

Read the full commentary, as well as other thoughts on the Tea Party from political analysts and historians at the New York Times‘ “Room for Debate” blog at