CNN Poll: How Americans view the Tea Party movement
December 22nd, 2010
02:07 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: How Americans view the Tea Party movement

Washington (CNN) – A new national poll suggests a slight increase in unfavorable views of the Tea Party movement since October. And according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, geography and politics appears to be behind the increase.

Thirty-seven percent of people questioned in the poll say they have a favorable view of the Tea Party, unchanged from just before the midterm elections. Forty-three percent say they have an unfavorable view of the nearly two year old movement, up six points from late October.

Most of that change appears to be coming from Democrats.

"Unfavorable views of the Tea Party went up seven points among Dems, from 61 percent in October to 68 percent now," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "By contrast, the Tea Party's unfavorables among independents went from 33 per cent to 36 percent in that same time, and were virtually unchanged among Republicans."

Geography also may be playing a factor. According to the survey, before the election, 39 percent of Northeasterners had an unfavorable view of the Tea Party. Now that's up to 57 percent, a jump of 18 percent.

The Tea Party movement's unfavorable ratings are also up in the Midwest - from 33 percent in October to 46 percent now.

"In October, the Midwest was pretty evenly divided on the Tea Party. Now, for whatever reason, the Tea Party's unfavorables in the Midwest outweigh the favorables by 10 points," adds Holland. "If the Northeast is fallow ground for the Tea Party and the movement is also not popular in the West, the Tea Party needs to sink some deep roots in the Midwest if it has any chance of becoming a truly national movement. The poll suggests that may not be happening."

According to the poll, the South and West had little change, with the Tea Party's unfavorable ratings dropping a couple of points in both regions, but within the survey's sampling error.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 17-19, 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

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN


Filed under: Tea Party movement
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Julie C

    "For whatever reason"? You think it might have something to do with the wackie talking heads they support? Palin/Bachmen....enough said.

    December 22, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. michaelam

    This American thinks that the Tea Party is made up of a bunch of ignorant racists who do not realize that they vote against their very own best interest. We had one Tea Bag go off at work and feign outrage over MLK's holiday next month! Done with the Tea Bags and hope they just crawl back under their rocks.

    December 22, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. vic nashville tn

    Tea party advocate reduce deficit but they support Bush tax cut which will add to deficit

    Tea party represent Rich same as republicans

    December 22, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. rusty155

    The TEA PARTY shouldn't be call the Tea party It should be call the second Republican party. The Tea party don't back both party just the Republican party. It all about a couple of rich brother trying too get who they want in OFFICE. That why the TEA PARTY Is a bunch of crap.

    December 22, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Switters

    The Tea Party? – Is that those loud, rude, ignorant white people that Dick Armey bused around to various congressperson's town hall meetings a year or so ago?

    December 22, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. DAVE

    the tea party to me looks like alot of people who have not voted in the past and know have suddenly figured out it just might be important to do so. the problem with their movement is that all they have for a goal is to run and winn offices to send a message. now what they need to come to grips with is a message needs to have words about your plans of action or it just amounts to a paper that says" to whom" at the top of the paper followed by blank paper and than signed at the bottom saying "from the tea party".

    December 22, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    We like our Haters here in Dixie.

    December 22, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. True American

    My only question is what is wrong with 43% of our nation. Tea Partiers want lower taxes, smaller government, and to hold the politicians responsible for their commitments made during campaigns. Has our nation lost their mind? Are we now in belief that being lied to repeatedly by politicians is acceptable?

    CNN you are close to becoming just like the "National Enquirer", or worse MSNBC! Get to unbiased coverage or we the people will shut you down through our actions to choose not to read or watch this program.

    Go America!

    December 22, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. NVa Native

    So 37% of our population are idiots who identify with a fake "grass roots movement" sponsored by Fox media and corporations who are happy to blindly vote against their own interests.
    So this is American exceptional-ism in action.

    December 22, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. NVa Native

    Did I mention national-ism is a disease.

    December 22, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    President Obama has an approval at 56%, and the tea baggers are at 37%. It warms my heart.

    December 22, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Fair_is-Fair

    I'm surprised its taken this long for Americans to see the Tea Spooners for what they are....a divisive bunch that just don't have the stomach for a black President. Where is all the anger from the election about fiscal policy for the inheritance tax holiday that is going to cost a tidy sum that would help with deficits. Where is all the outrage for the tax breaks for millionaires that will cost a third of the tax cuts (35%) for the top 2%. If these tax breaks are supposed to keep the economy going, why hasn't it done anything in the last 8 years.......it actually created this deficit. Now that repubs are in more of a position to say "no" to everything productive. Leaders in the house and senate on the repub side are all about politics....at least Mitch McConnel isn't hiding it....he wants to make Obama a one term president. Let me ask this...what has Obama done that is so bad.....he's just fixing all the wrong moves that got us into this position. He has not made anything worse...rather better. Time will show this.

    I just don't understand why the tea spooners are so against their own interest. Health care for everyone is so critical. They don't want to be a part of it until someone in their family gets sick and drives them into debt. If they want government out of their lives so much, send back all the medicare and social security benefits. Thats government run, isn't it? I'm no fan of wasteful spending, but health care is out of control if we leave it to the insurance companies. That would be wasteful spending for nothing in return but denial of coverage or cutbacks in service with higher premiums. Look what happened when we left banking regulation to the bankers. Same will happen to health care if we leave it to insurers. Lets support this president.....he's got our interest at heart. Stop hating....you'll die sooner with all the stress.

    December 22, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I view the baggers as less than intelligent, easy manipulated, and misinformed. They were used by Fox, the republican party and billionaires. Fool the baggers once, fool them twice, fool them again, they just do not get it.

    December 22, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Dean

    Unfavorable views of the Tea Party went up seven points among Dems, from 61 percent in October to 68 percent now........................It is not surprising that the Democrats do not wish to restore liberty and restore the constitution and what it stands for along with being held to fiscal responsibility.

    December 22, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    People finally coming to their senses. They are now seeing what this "movement" is all about, especially it's leader, the "pay me to speak and I'll make a fool of myself" half-term governer from Alaska....at least in some areas of the country. The rest is beyond help

    December 22, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    The Tea party started out as a pure and simple Libertarian Movement by the Campaign for Liberty groups across America. Then the corporate money started pouring in and the Neo conservatives took over(see Glen Beck). After that it lost direction, lost it's commitment to the Constitution and now it is loosing it's support.

    December 22, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    You people kill me.

    December 22, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. one voice

    One word: DUPED

    December 22, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    Regardless. Tea Partiers are not out to make friends. They are out to make a point. That point of small government and fiscal responsibility is being heard loud and clear. The Tea Party movement has been a phenominal success. Case in point...Harry and Barry's shot down 2011 over-reaching Federal budget. We can do better and we are.

    December 22, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. GOP = Greed Over People

    And the unfavorable will zoom after the tea baggers refuse to up the credit limit for debt and we go into default on our debt payments.

    The Cons were not content with almost sending this country into a depression in '08, this time they will be sure we default and destabilize the global economy.

    And everyone that voted for them to take back the House, can rejoice, your wish will be granted and "America will fail"!

    December 22, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Expat American

    So roughly 6.30 out of 10.00 view the Whites-Only bigoted, racist, complaining with no solutions Tea Toilet Party unfavorably? Then there is still hope for this great nation. And a 37% chance that tomorrow it will be 1950.

    December 22, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA/John Boehner The Crybaby

    I view the Tea Party as a band of clueless, know nothings that are the followers of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and have been brainwashed by Fixed News.

    December 22, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA/John Boehner The Crybaby

    A bunch of bitter white people who don't want to see a black man POTUS.

    December 22, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. EddyL

    A pack of shrieking idiots who have seemingly disappeared now that their elected members have also disappeared....

    December 22, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    I live in Texas, not exactly a bastian of liberalism, and I know a lot of Republicans who view the Tea Party unfavorably because of the image they have created within the Republican party. They do not like the split among consevatives, nor do they like the the fact that the "birthers" have generated so much negative attention.
    As a Democrat I think the Tea Party will become a major asset to progressives. Thanks guy, keep up the good work.

    December 22, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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