Poll: Tea Party's favorable numbers take a hit
October 16th, 2013
06:33 PM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Tea Party's favorable numbers take a hit

Washington (CNN) - The tea party is more unpopular than ever, according to a new national poll that also suggests that even many Republicans now view the grass-roots conservative movement in a negative light.

A Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday also indicates that Sen. Ted Cruz, one of the ringleaders of the conservative push to tie dismantling the national health care law to the funding of the federal government, has seen his popularity jump among tea party Republicans and drop among non-tea party GOPers.

According to the poll, which was conducted October 9 through Sunday, 49% of Americans said they have a negative view of the tea party, a slight rise of four percentage points from June. Three in 10 questioned said they see the tea party in a positive light, down seven points from June.

The tea party movement was born in early 2009 to protest the Wall Street bailouts initiated under President George W. Bush a few months earlier. It also opposed the stimulus and other economic and health care policies of President Barack Obama, who succeeded Bush in the White House.

The poll indicates the drop in favorable views of the tea party is not coming just from Democrats and independents.

"The Tea Party’s favorability rating has fallen across most groups since June, but the decline has been particularly dramatic among moderate and liberal Republicans. In the current survey, just 27% of moderate and liberal Republicans have a favorable impression of the Tea Party, down from 46% in June," a release from the Pew Research Center said.

Cruz has become much more visible during the shutdown and the showdown leading up the shutdown. And the poll indicates Cruz's popularity among tea party Republicans has soared, from 47% in July to 74% now. But among those who say they are non-tea party Republicans, the freshman senator from Texas and possible 2016 GOP White House contender's unfavorable rating jumped from 16% to 31%.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted October 9 to 13, with 1,504 adults nationwide - including 655 Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP - questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

–CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: Tea Party
soundoff (91 Responses)

    Democrats need to learn they will be negotiating with themselves from this point forward. It will always take a majority of Democrats to pass anything out of the house from a senate bipartisan deal. Because the Republicans don't know what they want.

    October 16, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  2. Bill

    No surprise here. We should all thank the tea bag faction for destroying the Republican party. It will make
    things all the easier in 2014 and 2016 for the Democrats.

    October 16, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. Tigas

    Where are the Obamacare enrollment rates?
    It's been over two weeks?

    October 16, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  4. Wake up People!

    Anyone that thinks enrollment stats after two weeks mean anything is dumb as a box of rocks. The ACA is law. It ain't going nowhere.
    It's going to take months at least to get anything real. Stop listening to Rush.

    October 16, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. okanaduh

    not being from the U.S.A. I was wondering what the rules are for a president as far as birthplace is concerned. I watched in amazement when one of the points brought up against your president was he wasn't born in the U.S.A., yet I see the Republican Party touting Mr Curz as a hopefull presidential candidate, What are the rules I'm confused, Thanks.

    October 16, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. CthruU

    If you have sense, this is really not surprising. If you watch Fox News and are stuck on stupid, then I know you are surprised.

    October 16, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. sharn cedar

    After all that intense smear campaign the "tea party" is still only 49% unfavorable. Massive fail.

    October 16, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    Maybe the American people don't want a fascist government, or a new and improved Benito bumping their gums while waving "Don't Tread On Me" flags and wearing tri-corner hats. Check with the Koch Sisters and maybe they will give you your money back for those items.

    October 16, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  9. Wake up People!


    Well I'm from this country and I'm confused too. The funny thing is....
    No one from their party even mentions that fact and neither does the media.

    Shhhhh.....I don't think we're supposed to discuss it though.

    But the rules are, if one or more of your parents is American, you can be born on foreign soil and still run for President. As long as you are a naturalized citizen for many years. I'm still trying to figure out if that's the case what is their objection to the current POTUS....

    October 16, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. ATLJack

    Odd how Tea Party members repeat endlessly that they "speak for Americans". But the polls say only 3 in 10 see the Tea Party in a positive light.

    So just who are Tea Party members speaking for? The same people who believe the earth is flat, that NASA didn't go to the moon and that President Obama was born in Kenya.

    October 16, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. jerry hall

    Rising tuition costs, defunding public schools, it's taken its toll on our population. So many non thinkers out there. Dumb has become the norm. Scary!

    October 16, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  12. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Cruz and the dumb texans that voted for this teaparty dunz should be forced to pay back the 20 billon this teaparty trash knocked off our GOP and the damage he has done to All Americans while telling his idiot supporters to send money ,this GOP goof will never be president, maybe in somailia where they have everything this teaparty trash is looking for. YOU LOST AGAIN!!!!!!!!

    October 16, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    The Tea Party movement is destined for the dust bin of history as a failed populist movement. Their members proved to be obstructionists and bullies who did not know how to govern. They were an extremist minority group with delusions that they represented a majority of Americans.

    October 16, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  14. ga.democrat

    It's about time the treasonous Tea Party takes a hit. Boehner says they fought the good fight. Cruz says they made a courageous stand. Really? They cost the economy $24 billion dollars, not to mention the millions of dollars spent trying to defund Obamacare......and these are the fiscal conservatives. My Tea Party Congressman/Pastor, Doug Collins, is not a lawmaker or a statesman but a hate and fear monger. His sole agenda is to fan the flames of the Obama haters. He would not know or understand a bill or a budget if it hit him in the head. Our country deserves better and if we don't vote these fools out of office our nation will not survive.

    October 16, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. the hippies were right


    I believe you are confused because the tea party, republican , conservative rules are, "whatever they want to believe at the time". These aren't the actual rules, but they like to make them up as they go.

    October 16, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. freedom

    The citizens who believe in the values of the Tea Party will be the ones who preserve our constitution and keep our country great. This President, Reid, Pelosi, McCain, Graham, and others are only thinking about themselves and their overinflated egos. Disgusting.

    October 16, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. A Kickin' Donkey

    There will be an attempt to re-re-brand the Republican Party / Tea Party after this chirade. When the DNCC run that commercial in 2014 of the GopTP'ers streaming gleefully from that conference room, high-fiving each other over the shutdown, you can bet there will be a effort to disassociate from the TParty

    October 16, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. John

    The Dems and OBcare are taking the country down the toilet. If they think spending another Trillion isn't going to make a difference then their idiots. Oh yea wait BO said raising the debt ceiling doesn't mean we are taking on more debt. What a tool.

    October 16, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. guest

    The tea party thrives because they knock off the moderate, sensible and responsible Republicans during the primaries. That's why I sometimes declare as a Republican during the primaries. So that I at least can give the moderate Republican a chance.

    October 16, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. DA

    Does Senator Cruz believe he is running the House of Representatives?

    October 16, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. Steve Hamilton

    I'm surprised that only 31% of Republicans disapprove of Ted Cruz. He will accelerate the party's slide down the crapper.

    More than anything else, the GOP needs a CEO caliber leader. Any experienced businessman or senior military leader will tell you that an organization with a weak or nonexistent leader will die. And that's major reason that the far right radicals have been allowed to mutiny. No organization can survive for long if members are engaged in mutiny.

    October 16, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. John Tater

    Try to keep a few facts in play. Obamacare SAVES money and lives. It was a republican idea. It's not an entitlement program. It brings U.S. healthcare up to the level of at least Second World countries. Shutting down the government in order to kill it is wrong on many counts.

    October 16, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  23. guest

    The debt limit is raised to pay the current bills. For example; those of you who supported the Iraq war for the purpose of finding those non-existent WMD (I fell for the WMD story also so don't feel bad), then you need to understand that the money to pay for that was was borrowed. We put it on a credit card. The credit card bill has to be paid. Plus the interest on the loan. The Iraq war is just an example. There is also the Afghanistan war, the Medicare prescription drug plan, bank bailouts etc. Just like when you borrow 100,000.00 to buy a house, if you look at your mortgage, you owe way more than 100,000.00. Same with your credit card bill if you don't pay off the balance each month. The interest grows. That is why the debt ceiling has to be raised. Not for future spending. For money we already borrowed.

    October 16, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  24. J Robinson

    Although I have leaned Democrat most of my life, I have decided to join the Republican Party in Virginia in an effort to diminish the influence of the tea party. This hateful and reactionary bunch is an evil force that needs to be contained and marginalized as much as possible.

    October 16, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. boblitton

    "Liberal Republican"? That looks like an oxymoron to me. "Moderate Republican" I can imagine, although those folks seem either to have been driven out of politics or are sidelined. And those who might call themselves "Moderate Republicans" are more appropriately seen as "Conservatives who have painted themselves into a corner and have enough sense remaining to realize that fact".

    October 16, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
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