Tea Party Participation Up As Election Nears

Rasmussen Reports

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Likely U.S. Voters now say they are Tea Party members or have close friends or family members who are part of the movement.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 17% describe themselves as members of the Tea Party,up four points from late August. Twelve percent (12%) more say they are not members themselves but have friends or family who are involved in the small government, anti-tax movement. (To see survey question wording, click here).

Just after Democrats in Congress passed the national health care bill in late March, 24% of voters said they were Tea Party members, with 10% more saying they had close friends or family members who were participants.

Unchanged from the previous survey are the 60% who now say they have no ties to the Tea Party, but that’s down from 69% in May. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 6-7, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Voters are now almost evenly divided in their views of the movement: 41% have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party; 40% view it unfavorably, and 19% are undecided. This is a slightly more critical assessment than was found in August.

Still, 47% believe the Tea Party movement is good for the country, a finding that hasn’t changed since May. Thirty-two percent (32%) say the movement is bad for America, while 14% say it’s neither.

The Tea Party movement arose out of voter unhappiness with the growth of government and spending under the Bush and Obama administrations. Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters now say they are angry at the policies of the federal government, with 43% who are Very Angry. Thirty-two percent (32%) don’t share that anger, with 14% who are Not At All Angry.

These findings show a continued lessening of anger overall, but the level of those who are Very Angry remains high. In previous surveys since last September, those angry at the government have ranged from 65% to 75%, with those who are Very Angry in the 33% to 46% range.

To read more, visit: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/october_2010/tea_party_participation_up_as_election_nears

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