October 9, 2013

Tea Party backlash? Not among rank-and-file Republicans


Just 18% of Republicans believe their leaders are paying too much attention to the Tea Party.

Recent news reports have suggested that the hard line taken by Tea Party and other conservative Republicans in the House in the budget and debt ceiling battles may be producing a backlash among party supporters and donors who are concerned about the political impact of the government shutdown and a possible U.S. default on its debt.

But to whatever extent that pushback may be happening, it’s a point of view not shared by rank-and-file Republicans. Just 18% of Republicans believed their leaders were paying too much attention to the Tea Party, up slightly from 13% two years ago, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last week. Most Republicans said the party’s leaders were either paying the right amount (40%) or too little (24%) attention to the positions of the Tea Party.

Even among Republicans and Republican leaners who do not agree with the Tea Party movement, more than half said either that the GOP was paying the right amount of attention (34%) to the ideas of the Tea Party or too little (21%). Just 22% of non-Tea Party Republicans said the movement receives too much attention from the Republican Party.

Another aspect to the political forces at work is the views of Republicans who most frequently vote in primaries. An analysis of a September Pew Research poll found that among Republicans and Republican-leaning registered voters who say they always vote in primary elections, 53% said they wanted lawmakers to do what they could to make the health care law fail, which has been a goal of the Tea Party bloc in the House. Just 32% said lawmakers should instead try to make the law work as well as they can.

In addition, about four-in-10 of GOP primary voters also say Republicans in Congress have compromised too much with Democrats compared to 22% who say they have not compromised enough.

When it comes to the general public, a minority (35%) of those surveyed said Republican leaders were paying too much attention to the Tea party. Read more.

Category: Daily Number

Topics: U.S. Political Parties

  1. Photo of Bruce Drake

    is a senior editor at Pew Research Center.


  1. Dinkar4 years ago

    While I agree that the ACA has several questionable mandates, why does the Tea Party/Republicans ever come up with any of their own ideas other than just saying NO to everything? Their lack of new ideas, whether is healthcare or immigration, is what is most jarring… Propose something novel and maybe people will forget all this govt shutdown thing which I think any reasonable American detested! I am not even a great supporter of Obama or Democrats and if I get a good reason I will vote Republican next time but just give me a solid reason..and that means good ideas!

  2. Walter Hudson4 years ago

    I agree with Mr.Blanchard from the very moment Mitch McConnell stated that the republicans #1 priority was to make President Obama a 1 term President. It is incomphrehensible to me that a sitting Senator would make such a comment with 2 (count them 2) wars in progress & it’s actually gone downhill from there I’ll be 55 God willing in 2 month’s and when I went to school people who did’nt believe in government & wanted to destroy the American gov. were called anarchist’s and it wasn’t considered something honorable.

  3. Bert Block4 years ago

    The tea party right in demanding a pull back from Obama Care. The Democrates voted this into so called law without one Republican voting with them. They want to force this on the American public. American does not work that way. The Dems. deserve to lose on this issue and the Tea Party and Republicans must not give in. The principle is that if you want a free country, supported by its people, then one party must not coerce the rest to their point of view. And principle is more important than anything else. Our country was founded on principles stated in the Declaration and Constitution. ObamaCare reminds us how King George forced his will on the colonies. Won’t work!! I suggest that we throw out ObamaCare, then take our time with bi-partisan support to craft another bill that will satisfy the majority of the population.

    1. Ron4 years ago

      Bert, you are proof that the TeaHadists are completely clueless. The American people voted not once but twice to support healthcare for Americans. You don’t like the ACA? Not a problem. Don’t sign up and pay the 180 bucks a year in penalty/taxes. Why should you pay you ask? Because whether you like it or not people get sick. They either go to the doctor that their insurance pays for or they go to the emergency toom when they simply can’t take it any more. You are already paying for the uninsured to go to the emergency room…like it or don’t doesn’t make a difference. You think that is free? What planet do you live on?

      Meanwhile your fellow Americans without healthcare skip going to the doctor but show up at work to infect the rest of us. Do you not understand how this affects us all? Not just as individuals but as a community and as an economy? You people may pine for the 17th century when you could live off the land and be separate and “free” from the rest of the world but those days are long gone. You don’t like modern globally interconnected, mutually dependent society? Try moving to the wilds of Alaska or somewhere off the grid. The rest of us need to live and work together for the good of us all. What part of that fact that we live in a global society don’t you people understand? Seriously some people really ought to be sterilized to insure that their ignorance and greed isn’t passed down to the next generation!

      1. Alan4 years ago

        Ron, Obama Care is not about health care, it is about power and control. Obama wants to grow government and gain loyal dependents that he gives free stuff to. Back when this piece of crap legislation was being drafted, the Republicans tried in vain to help produce a constituently guided and workable law but your fellow liberal did-s#%ts whould not allow that so we now have Obama Care in its current form. I can’t wait to see this pile of crap implode as individuals revolt against the rising cost and lessening of service in what was the best health care system in the world. And I really hope it hits the idiots that still believe in Obama Care first and hardest. Come on, government run anything is a bad idea so let’s depend on the government for our health and lives!!! Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  4. West Virginian4 years ago

    Many Democrat VOTERS support the Tea Party

    1. Pumpkin Treat4 years ago

      We do? When did that happen?

  5. Donald Page4 years ago

    The street-level Tea Party supporter probably believes he/she is doing the right thing. In fact they are being manipulated by sweet sounding ideas and common-sense-sounding rhetoric. What they are doing is widening the chasm between population segments and sharpening the lines between them. The hardline obstructionist behavior they cause prevents compromise and cooperation. Without compromise and cooperation, the American form of democracy is destined to fail like the cold war communists predicted.

    1. Frederick Fullerton4 years ago

      Mr. Page, I would rather be obstructionist about fiscal responsibility than obstructionist about fiscal irresponsibility. Attempting to overturn the Budget Control Act is negotiating in bad faith. The fiscally irresponsible President and Senate are creating a bigger problem (level of public debt) than anything else happening in this country.


  6. WarrinaBuffetina24 years ago

    Well, Veteran Blanchard, you have just said there should be some sort of punishment meted out by our government for people who do not believe what you believe.

  7. Gary F. Blanchard4 years ago

    As a 75-year-old retired veteran, I am appalled at the domestic terrorism behavior of the Republican-Tea Party members who are currently holding the nation captive. It borders on treason, as far as I am concerned, and makes a mockery of our traditions of policy-making. Just disgusting. I for one am ready to consider lawful alternatives to punish these self-righteous, anti-democratic jerks, as soon and as fully as possible.

    1. WarrinaBuffetina24 years ago

      Okay, veteran Blanchard. You are basically saying there should be some sort of punishment for people who think differently than you do. Is that what you really mean?

    2. Donald Page4 years ago

      I have been calling the current Republican behavior terrorism since the shutdown was threatened. I also believe the tea party is the extremist propaganda arm of the Republican Party.

      1. C. Lang4 years ago

        The Tea Party is almost entirely funded by the Koch brothers. They only exist to covertly do the Koch brothers’ bidding.

  8. Jim S.4 years ago

    There is no Republican Party anymore. Todays Republican should be considered a Lite Democrat. Always willing to cross the aisle, always compromising their values. All in the name of protecting THEIR political future. For all their faults, the Democrats never cross the isle, they never compromise. its always the Republicans.

    1. Ron4 years ago

      The Dems never compromise? Are you insane? The left who voted in Obama thought they were getting single payer health care but Obama in a futile effort to show his willingness to compromise with the children on the right did nothing but piss and moan from day one. The entire Republican strategy from the beginning of the Obama term has been to obstruct. It’s a well known and publically stated fact. Now the TeaTerrorists have come to believe their own BS and moronic bumper sticker slogan as policy theories about how to govern and this is what you get. The best news is that the majority of them are in “golden years” and won’t be around to plague the rest of the country that much longer. They can take their anti female, anti minority, anti gay, pro fake Christianity to the great beyond. The sooner the better!

  9. ep tor4 years ago

    When considering such statistics one must take into consideration that the dumb don’t know they are dumb. So that when you ask dumb people (Republicans) whether a group of dummies (GOP) is listening to the ideas of a small group of extreme dummies (Tea Party) then the results of the poll will be dumb. Of course they are listening, because they have no ideas of their own. So when anyone makes a suggestion, even if it makes no sense, it tends to make more sense than having no idea at all. One needs to remember that the GOP is largely composed of white old men, most of whom are suffering the onset of senility, and defective imbeciles like Palin and Bachmann.

    1. Robert4 years ago

      Nice, fact-filled argument. So, that’s how you solve things by name-calling? And you wonder why there is such a divide along the lines of morality/respectful behavior anymore. Would you use this argument in front of people, to their face, or are you just a belligerent bully when you can hide behind a computer? You chose Palin and Bachmann, so should one presume you are a sexist moron? No, one shouldn’t presume or conclude that, but you can see how one could do so. How about we return our country to the principles it was founded on and stop voting in people who care only for themsleves, from BOTH sides of the aisle?

  10. Gordon D4 years ago

    Obama doesn’t care. He is trying to hurt the American people in every way he can. Is time to come up with a new slogan. My slogan is Dump a DemocRAT in the next several elections, and until we have some money in the bank and a new Congress and a president that care.

  11. Mike4 years ago

    As a voting Republican since Goldwater days I am in full opposition to the tea party antics. Yes,antics as I don’t think they have the basic gumption to govern this nation. I’ll listen again when they put aside their religious fervor and make decisions with sound conservative Republican principles. Right of center to be sure but that crowd has gone way over the line. Embarrassed the whole party in the process.

    1. Rebecca W4 years ago

      The Tea Party is not a party with “religious fervor.” That is another media and/or DemocRAT lie. For your information the “Tea” in TEA Party stands for Taxed Enough Already. They want less government controlling every aspect of our lives from which light bulb we can use and what kind of toilet we can flush, etc. to responsible budgeting and cutting spending. That is it. There is NO religion in ANY Tea Party organization. What is so crazy about not wanting to bankrupt this once great country any further and saddle our kids and grandkids with an insane amount of debt that they will never be able to pay?

      1. Donald Page4 years ago

        Realistically, wholesale tax cuts will do nothing but create uproar and violence. Moderation, cooperation and honesty are needed to save the country.

        1. Norman4 years ago

          Then why isn’t Obama doing this?

      2. Ron4 years ago

        Rebecca, nice reminder of typical TeaHadist ignorance on full display! The tax rates are at a 30 year low yet suddenly when the POTUS is someone who doesn’t look like YOU it’s an issue. Taxed Enough Already is yet another example of TeaBilly bumper sticker slogans passing as policy that proves without a doubt that they are incapable of anything other than whining about losing a golden era in America that only existed in their heads and black and white movies!