The pundits and Democratic leaders are wrong in claiming that rank-and-file Republicans think their leaders are caving in to the radical demands of the Tea Party.

According to a new Pew Research Center survey that busts the conventional wisdom, less than two in 10 Republicans think Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are letting the Tea Party wag the dog.

The numbers:

» 18 percent of Republicans believe GOP leaders are paying too much attention to the Tea Party.

» 40 percent believe the Republican House and Senate leaders are paying the “right amount” of attention to Tea Party members, most elected in the 2010 midterms.

» 24 percent believe the GOP is paying “too little” attention to the Tea Party.

And when it comes to the overall population, all political parties included, Pew found that just 35 percent said Republican leaders are paying too much attention to the Tea Party.

The results are the latest indication of why House and Senate Republicans are dug in on their bid to force Democrats to cut or kill Obamacare in return for a spending budget.

Michael Needham, CEO of the Heritage Action for America, which is leading that fight, said Wednesday that his supporters believe that ending Obamacare is a top priority and praised Boehner for taking up the battle.

Democrats and liberal pundits have said that the GOP's fight will sink the party in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections, but several analyses show that the Republicans aren't in trouble of losing control of the House because many lawmakers are in strongly conservative districts.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at