April 5, 2011

How big a proportion of the American public is the Tea Party?

Q. The Tea Party, its adherents and its agenda, get a great deal of attention in the media today. How big a proportion of the American public is the Tea Party?

Since the Tea Party appeared on the political scene in 2009, the Pew Research Center and other pollsters have tracked the public’s reaction to the movement. In our most recent survey, conducted March 30-April 3, 22% of the public said they agreed with the Tea Party movement, while 29% said they disagreed with it; 49% said they had no opinion either way or had not heard of it. Throughout our election polling in 2010, Tea Party supporters were closely following the campaign and were much more likely than the average American to say they intended to vote in the November elections. And vote they did: Exit polling by the National Election Pool found that fully 41% of voters said they supported the Tea Party movement.

Previous Pew Research studies have provided an in-depth look at Tea Party supporters and their views, including analyses of their opinions on government spending, government power, and religion and social issues.

Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research, Pew Research Center