Public Opinion Toward Tea Party Hits Low Point
The Tea Party’s standing with Americans is at its lowest point since the movement took shape in 2010, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday.
The survey, conducted from Oct. 9-13, reports that nearly half (49 percent) of the public now view the Tea Party unfavorably, compared with 30 percent who view it favorably. Since February 2010, when Pew first began gauging opinion on the Tea Party, unfavorable views have nearly doubled, and the number of “very unfavorable” views has tripled.
In June, when Pew last polled on the Tea Party and before the latest Washington budget battle fully ratcheted up, 45 percent said they held an unfavorable view of the Tea Party, while 37 percent reported they had a favorable view.
Michael Dimock, the director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, told All Things Considered host Audie Cornish that one of the issues is that people don’t really know what the Tea Party is about.
“There’s not really a consensus about what the Tea Party is, whether it’s kind of an outside group trying to steer policy or whether it’s working within the Republican Party itself,” Dimock says.