As the mid-term election draws near, agreement with the core policies of the National Tea Party movement has increased to 43 per cent.
More Americans are following news related to the National Tea Party movement in the media and a growing proportion continues to voice agreement with its core policies, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,009 American adults, 50 per cent of respondents (+8 since June) say they have followed news stories related to the National Tea Party movement “very closely” or “moderately closely” over the past year.
Two-in-five Americans (43%, +4) agree with the core policies of the National Tea Party movement, while 25 per cent (+2) disagree. Republicans (72%, +4) are more likely to endorse these policies than Independents (43%, +2) or Democrats (29%, +8).
A third of Americans (32%, +3) believe the National Tea Party movement will have a positive effect on American politics—including 59 per cent of Republicans (+3)—while 21 per cent (+3) think it will have a negative effect.
Respondents were asked whether they would take four specific actions in support of the National Tea Party movement. Three-in-ten respondents (30%, +4) say they would “definitely” or “probably” recommend it to friends and family, 26 per cent (+3) would join an online group, and 22 per cent (+1) would attend a rally. In addition, 16 per cent of respondents (+2) say they would “definitely” or “probably” donate money to the National Tea Party movement.
Almost half of Americans (44%, -2) remain undecided about the future of the National Tea Party movement. One-in-four Republicans (25%, -6) want the National Tea Party movement to become affiliated with an existing political party, so that some or all of its core policies can be implemented. A similar proportion of Independents (26%, -4) would prefer to see the National Tea Party movement become a full-fledged political party, and run candidates for public office, just like the Democrats and Republicans.
Several Tea Party-endorsed candidates—such as Sharron Angle in Nevada, Marco Rubio in Florida, Joe Miller in Alaska, and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware—have enjoyed increased national media exposure over the past few weeks. As a result, the proportion of Americans who are paying attention to Tea Party stories in the media has increased since June.
While respondents remain uncertain about the future of the National Tea Party movement, there is a slight increase in the proportion of Americans who would recommend it to friends and family. The key findings is that, as the country heads to the mid-term election, the core policies of the Tea Party continue to be attractive to seven-in-ten Republicans and two-in-five Independents.
Mario Canseco, Vice President, Communications & Media Relations
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Methodology: From September 15 to September 16, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,009 American adults who are Springboard America panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of the United States. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.