In the days leading up to April 15, the Tea Party movement’s first anniversary, Rasmussen ran a new survey and found that the number of voters who self-identify as part of the Tea Party movement has jumped eight points since March. Last month, 16% of American voters surveyed identified themselves as Tea Partiers. That number is now at 24%.
The other most interesting finding in poll was the disparity between how the the so-called political elite views the Tea Party movement versus the view of mainstream voters. A whopping 98% percent of the political elite have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party movement.
(Question: Does this mean anyone who doesn’t view the Tea party movement unfavorably has only a 2% chance of being an elitist?)
While the elites expressed their dislike, 58% of mainstream voters said they had a favorable opinion of Tea Partiers.
Of those surveyed, 55% said they are not part of the movement or do not have any ties to the Tea Party, while 11% said they are unsure.
(Sidebar: I’m always amazed at this 10% or so of the population who never seem to be sure about anything. Who are these people and why don’t they know their own minds?)
The rise in Tea Party support is attributed in part to the call for the repeal of health care reform. Many of those surveyed said they are convinced that the reform will lead to higher taxes to fund the program at a time when 66% of voters believe they are already overtaxed by the government.
When broken down into political parties, 42% of Republicans say they are members of the Tea Party compared to 24% of independents and just 9% of Democrats.
70% of Republicans have a positive view of the Tea Parties, and 71% of Democrats do not. Unaffiliated voters were evenly divided on their views.
Just over 33% said they believed the Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that a new political party is needed; 47% percent of voters surveyed disagree.
If the Tea Party were to organize a political party, the survey shows this would throw elections to the Democrat by splitting the votes between the Republican and a generic Tea Party candidate: 34% would vote for the Democrat in a 3-way congressional race, while 27% would vote for the Republican and 21% for the Tea Party candidate.