April 14th, 2010
08:18 AM ET
10 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. nick

    I really doubt this.... I think the poll was scewed to "prove" that those bunch of loosers and cry babies have more strength then they actually have.

    April 14, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That must've taken a lot of guts to admit to. It is also about a 1/2 person more than I thought!

    April 14, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. Chris

    And 9 in 10 are not members of the Tea Party. The Tea Partiers are a minority in this country. And being extremely loud and obnoxious does not give your more authority or say in this country.

    "Six in ten are over the age of 50" – when you look at Tea Party gatherings, you see an ocean of gray hair. Most are retirees who are living on social security and medicare. And they are all out their screaming and yelling about the goverment taking money from the workers. They are all fired about the direction the country is headed in, but half of them are going to be dead in ten years. They seem to want to drag this country back to the 1950's- to some sort of idealized Norman Rockwell/Leave it to Beaver version of America that never actually existed.

    April 14, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Randall in Torrance, CA

    These turd face retards are ignorant fools trying to revert back to the dark ages when the dumbest man who ever lived, Jarge Bush ran America off a cliff into the abyss of anti-government hell. I'll bet none ever finished grade school and they all work at WarMart.

    April 14, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Mathew

    I'm sure there are educated people in the Tea Party movement...but from what I've seen from the signs with incorrect spelling, substandard grammar, etc., I would question the "better" educated statement.

    April 14, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Ron in California

    Since the number of folks who vote in elections is something like 4 in ten, Tea partiers will have a sway in the upcoming elections.

    April 14, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. kem

    Yes this is America, and your're being ignored because ur idiots!. ...And I mean hopeless idiots with no hope of recovery.

    April 14, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. Brink

    That is the best argument that I have heard yet for mandatory higher education in America.

    April 14, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. diamond

    Better educated and more religious than the general publice, aren't these the same people who were throwing rocks, spitting, and hollaring racials slurs after the approval of the health care bill. Is it me or is something wrong with this picture.

    April 14, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  10. Bubba10

    As a gay American, who is one of 10% of the nation, you get used to being ignored. Majority rule and all.

    April 14, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  11. Sandy

    Yeah, right! LOL

    April 14, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Irma in North Carolina

    Just goes to show you how many racits that are in this country. Hey tea baggers you Gal Sarah needs some money you better help her out.

    April 14, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Expat American

    I support the President.

    I always pay a significant amount of money in taxes to the USG. This is a fact of life. This year was no different – in fact I probably paid a small fraction more. Oh well.

    I'm fine with that. As long as this increase does not go towards providing govt. care or assistance to a Tea Party Bigot or their sick child.

    Where were these Tea CON-Chistians a few years ago? Government grew pretty large under Bush, among other things.

    April 14, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Four and The Door

    It is uplifting to see the broad support for the tea party and the common sense values they represent. If you watch what has been going on in Washington with this administration and congress, it is frightening to see what can happen when greed and stupidity gang up on an otherwise great country.

    April 14, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  15. Tom, St Paul

    Interesting poll results. As more and more people find out about the Tea Party, more and more oppose it. This is good.

    April 14, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. I don't believe it

    That is, I don't believe the 1/10 were honest about being a part of the tea party. I think they want it to be something that it is not.

    It doesn't cut across party lines. It is merely the more conservative branch of the GOP.

    April 14, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Ken

    1 in 10, that's not exactly a majority of Americans. In fact, it says to me that they definately do NOT speak for America. They speak for themselves and only themselves.

    April 14, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    I just noticed the sign in the picture!

    It is precisely because this is America that they CAN ignore you. That is usually what Americans do with screaming lunatics that cannot for 'freedom of speech' reasons be locked up!

    You should be thankful. If you were in Dominican you would'nt be so fortunate!

    April 14, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Molly Weasley

    How can these idiots say they're "ignored" when:

    They basically have their own cable outlet (Fox Noise channel).
    Every lazy media outlet in the country (including lazy reporters and producers and CNN) covers them, because they're afraid not to. OH MY GOD SOMEONE MIGHT ACCUSE US OF BEING LIBERAL IF WE DON'T PUT THE TEABAGGERS ON EVERY TIME ONE OF THEM OPENS HIS OR HER MOUTH.

    I'm more interested in getting good policy passed by the majority of elected officials in this country, whom a majority of citizens voted for. If teabaggers want to hold up their hateful, misspelled and often racist signs, let 'em. If they represent 10%, then that means 90% of us still have brains.

    April 14, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. Go, Tea Party!

    I know enough about this group and the brave, patriotic Americans who support it - that I say thank God it exists. The flagrant abuse of power by the Obama administration MUST BE STOPPED!

    Go, Tea Party!

    April 14, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. Marco V

    Sure I am familiar with them. They are a bunch of angry, misinformed , misguided white people.

    April 14, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. hobart

    CNN, why do you keep making the Tea Party more of a story than they deserve? Roughly 1 in 10 people are African American, yet I don't see you headlining their political interests 24/7365.

    "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."

    What this summary fails to say is that back in February according to your same poll, 35% supported the Tea Party movement, and only 19% opposed it; thus, over the last two months Tea Party support has decreased by 8% while opposition to the Tea Party has increased by 8%.

    Thus, as the economy continues to improve (Over he last year, the Dow has increased 37%; the Nasdaq by 50%, and the S&P by 40%; the highest they've been since before the 2008 election), the Tea Party becomes more and more irrelevant.

    Why do they hate America?

    April 14, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. Jin

    News flash: The other 9 of us are ignoring you because you choose to idolize racists, bigots, and tundra twits!! How can you Cliffnote political dummies expect this president to bail the country out of the HOLE the last president left us in without creating sufficient government oversight to keep that debacle from happening again??? Stop whining and get behind solutions.

    April 14, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Lipton

    I don't take the tea party movement serious at all. It seems like they're fighting a losing battle. They say that they represent the American people, well you don't represent me. My vote and support will go elsewhere. Thanks for the good laughs though.

    April 14, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. Sue

    People are really stupid....there is nothing liberal about the direction of this country.....everything that has had to be done is done out of an emergency basis.....people really need to stop listening to the right wing talk shows....and hate and get the facts.
    And the media has a responsibility to stop being a tabloid media and actually do the job of challenging all of this hate speech and lies that get spewed....instead of encouraging it for ratings....
    Cable is on 24/7 ....that really does allow for actually getting the FACTS!
    Disagree if you must, but at least disagree with FACTS instead of LIES!

    April 14, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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