View Full Version : Survey: Four in 10 Tea Party members are Democrats or independents

04-06-2010, 01:02 AM
By Sean J. Miller - 04/04/10 03:29 PM ET

Four in 10 Tea Party members are either Democrats or Independents, according to a new national survey.

The findings provide one of the most detailed portraits to date of the grassroots movement that started last year.

The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democratic, according to three national polls by the Winston Group, a Republican-leaning firm that conducted the surveys on behalf of an education advocacy group. Two-thirds of the group call themselves conservative, 26 are moderate and 8 percent say they are liberal.

The Winston Group conducted three national telephone surveys of 1,000 registered voters between December and February. Of those polled, 17 percent – more than 500 people -- said they were “part of the Tea Party movement.”

“It’s a good sample size,” said David Winston, the polling firm’s director. “It will certainly give us an initial base to follow where these folks are.”

The group is united around two issues – the economy/jobs and reducing the deficit. They believe that cutting spending is the key to job creation and favor tax cuts as the best way to stimulate the economy. That said 61 percent of Tea Party members believe infrastructure spending creates jobs. Moreover, given the choice Tea Party members favor 63-32 reducing unemployment to 5 percent over balancing the budget.

It isn’t a “purely homogeneous” group, said Winston.

The group has a favorable view of Republicans generally but that drops from 71 to 57 percent if they’re asked about Congressional Republicans. Congressional Democrats are viewed very unfavorably by 75 percent of Tea Party members – a uniquely strong antipathy. An overwhelming 95 percent said “Democrats are taxing, spending, and borrowing too much.”

The group also vehemently dislikes President Barack Obama – even more so than those who called themselves Republicans in the survey. Over 80 percent of Tea Party members disapprove of the job he’s doing as president, whereas 77 percent of Republican respondents said they disapprove of Obama. The Tea Party members are also strongly opposed to the Democrats’ healthcare plan, with 82 percent saying they oppose it -- only 48 percent of respondents overall were opposed.

Tea Party members are more likely to be male, slightly older and middle income. Almost half the members of the group reported getting their news about national issues from Fox News, 10 percent of respondents said that talk radio is one of their top two sources, which is seven-points higher than the average voter.


Wei Wu Wei
04-06-2010, 01:08 AM
Interesting, a study put out about 2 weeks ago has slightly different numbers (as these things always tend to)


By a 28 - 23 percent margin, American voters have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party, with 49 percent who say they don't know enough about the group to form an opinion.

American voter opinion of the Democratic Party is 48 - 33 unfavorable, with opinion of the Republican Party 42 - 33 percent unfavorable.


Looking at voters who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement:

* 74 percent are Republicans or independent voters leaning Republican;
* 16 percent are Democrats or independent voters leaning Democratic;
* 5 percent are solidly independent;
* 45 percent are men;
* 55 percent are women;
* 88 percent are white;
* 77 percent voted for Sen. John McCain in 2008;
* 15 percent voted for President Barack Obama.

This link and this poll contains copies of the actual questions given with the actual wording, as well as complete tables.

04-06-2010, 01:19 AM
It's all a matter of who you are sampling. And Quinnipiac has had sampling issues in the past.