Gallup Tea Party Poll

Tea Party Supporters Overlap Republican Base


PRINCETON, NJ — There is significant overlap between Americans who identify as supporters of the Tea Party movement and those who identify as conservative Republicans. Their similar ideological makeup and views suggest that the Tea Party movement is more a rebranding of core Republicanism than a new or distinct entity on the American political scene.

Conservative Republicans outnumber moderate/liberal Republicans in the general population by about a 2-to-1 margin; among Tea Party supporters, the ratio is well more than 3 to 1. More generally, almost 8 out of 10 Tea Party supporters are Republicans, compared with 44% of all national adults.

These findings are based on three surveys Gallup conducted in March, May, and June of this year. Thirty percent of Americans, on average, identify as Tea Party supporters — a percentage remarkably consistent across the three surveys.

The Tea Party and the 2010 Vote

One reason for interest in the burgeoning Tea Party movement this year has been its potential impact on the midterm elections in November. Already the Tea Party is viewed as affecting Republican primaries, with its chosen candidates prevailing or poised to do so in several contests, including the withdrawal or defeat of well-funded “establishment” Republican candidates in the Florida and Kentucky Senate races.

This potential impact is clear from data showing that Tea Party supporters are more enthusiastic about voting this year than are Americans overall, and more likely to say they are certain to vote. At the same time, Tea Party supporters are no more enthusiastic or certain to vote than the traditional Republican base — conservative Republicans.

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