April 14th, 2010
08:18 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: 1 in 10 say they're Tea Party activists

Ten percent of Americans say they have actively supported the Tea Party movement.
Ten percent of Americans say they have actively supported the Tea Party movement.

Washington (CNN) - Ten percent of Americans say they have actively supported the Tea Party movement, and those Tea Party activists are older, better educated and more religious than the general public, according to a new national poll.

O the Tea Party activists questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning, seven of ten call themselves conservatives. Nearly eight in ten would vote for a Republican candidate for Congress if the midterm elections were held today. Six in ten activists are male.

But the Tea Party movement, now in its 14th month, is not well-known to nearly half the country. Forty five percent of all Americans say they do not know enough about the Tea Party to say whether they support it or oppose it. Those who are familiar with the movement are divided right down the middle - 27 percent support the Tea Party movement, and 27 percent oppose it.

Full results (pdf)

One out of every ten people says they have donated money, attended a rally, or taken some other active step to support the Tea Party movement.

The poll indicates that 60 percent of this core group of Tea Party activists are male, six in ten are over the age of 50, two-thirds attended college, and half say they attend church services weekly or almost every week. By comparison, 48 percent of all Americans are male, 45 percent are age 50 or older, 54 percent attended college, and four in ten go to church every week or nearly every week.

Tea Party activists, known for their vocal opposition to government spending and taxes, are set to hold rallies in the nation's capital and across the country on Thursday – the day federal tax returns are due.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll was conducted April 9-11, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN poll • Tea Party movement
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Better educated?!?
    What do they have, Ph.D.s in Public Nuisance?
    Master of Hate Speech?
    B.S. in Lunatic Fringe Studies?

    April 14, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Michael in Houston

    white....angry...conservative...male....all voting republican.
    I am sorry..tell me again whats so unique about this group?? Its nothing more then yet another angry group within the republican party.

    April 14, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. jim

    Fox News Poll: I in 10 of Americans are idiots who do things like collect social security, use medicaid and medicare to pay their health care bills, and work for the government (either directly or for a contractor), and then join the tea party and protest government spending.

    April 14, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Canadian living amongst u

    Where were all these people during Bush's 2 terms??! Where was the outrage over losing their freedoms then??!!!

    Bunch of hypocrites, the whole lot of them!!!

    April 14, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Dionne T

    My view is that I mostly support the views of the Tea Party. I definitely do not support Obama's views. I saw this morning the CNN poll results regarding the Tea Party. What makes me laugh about the poll results is the fact that the Tea Party members do not watch CNN regularly. So how can the poll be even remotely accurate? CNN is so biased when it comes to politics.

    April 14, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Dean

    Ten Percent is hardly a majority of the people is it. Makes you wonder about those tens of millions Fox claims are at these marches.

    April 14, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. Willy Brown

    Buh bye in 2010 democrats and RINO's in Congress!

    April 14, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. Sissy

    All you conservatives say that Obama is to Liberal......and his administration is to Liberal......well this Liberal Party accepts not only liberals but we accept moderates, and conservatives, but the Republicans only accept Conservative thinkers.....no one else is welcomed in their party that thinks differently...... if you don't uphold their conservative values your not welcomed in their party.....just because you want conservative values doesn't mean the rest of us do.......so that doesn't make The GOP a better political party.....the majority of us doesn't want Hate Mongers, Radicals, Racists, we don't want the Religions of this country to make the discisions for our country.......We don't want the Party of NO, the party without any solutions for our problems.......so take a hike

    April 14, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. Mother Mary

    Sorry, but I would dispute the "attended college" statistic. They don't seem to have common logic on issues or question crazy emails that go around. I know some of them.....

    April 14, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. brian in denver

    The Tea Partiers claiming that they represent America reminds me of the Moral Majority mentality a few years ago. The Moral Majority was neither "Moral" nor the "Majority". Just a relatively small group of vocal bigots.

    April 14, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. a little sad

    I love the sign – "This is America – How dare they ignore us!"

    Not sure who "they" are but look at the math:

    10% does not a majority make.

    My sign "This is America – How dare a 10% minority think they should rule the other 90%?"

    April 14, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. thanks, but no thanks

    l was against going to war in Iraq. How dare you ignored my warnings!!!!! This is the lamest excuse l have ever heard. Then, it speaks volumes to so called conservatives. Pussies with guns....

    April 14, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. Bob in Pa.

    Odd that your poll suggest it is male dominated when another recent poll suggested it was dominated more by women. But of course your poll wants to lend credence to the false notion that the Tea Party is nothing more than a bunch of bitter racist right wing old white men.

    Try as you may, you can not discredit that many American citizens who are tired of being pushed around and want their voice to be heard.

    April 14, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  14. michael armstrong sr.

    Trusting a CNN poll would be like trusting a Fox News poll America needs independit polls to get true results .

    April 14, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  15. Gymo

    CNN says they are better educated?
    I don't believe that, I have seen on YouTube where Tea-Party activists are asked basic civil/Govt. questions that they could NOT answer.
    CNN needs to show us how they have ascertained that they are better educated or we will have to consider that Poll faulty.

    Older I can understand because most of them are on MediCare and Social Security, which is the same Govt. handout they re fighting against.

    April 14, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. thanks, but no thanks

    CNN,

    l have been an avid supporter of yours. Please, do not moderate the word pussies. It is in the dictionary... See for yourselves...

    April 14, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. Doc SteveO

    Okay, 10%, fine. What percentage of self-identified Republicans would that be? 40%? Might be a force for the Republicans to have to deal with. They just can't stand not picking lousy bed-mates. First the Religious Right, now this. I guess it's like the old country song goes… "Never gone to bed with an ugly woman, but I has woke up with quite a few."

    Where is "my" Republican party? I miss it. Independent leaning strong Democratic for the last several years for me, and that's why. Once they crawled into the sack with those religious nut jobs, I was out.

    April 14, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Ruty

    I don't know who took this poll but they must be nuts. The tea party menbers are older, better educated and more religious? I don't think so! I am 78 and I think the tea party members are stupid, uneducated , simple minded and all are relatead to that stupid quitter from Alaska who has grits for brains.

    April 14, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Doug

    Sounds about right. They're the left wing - of the bell curve, that is.

    April 14, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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