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)
  1. Catmandew

    The tea party are the only people stating the truth. We can't keep spending like Obama has been and have a country. I hope you libs are proud that you've given your grandchildren even more debt to pay off. Ted Cruz got elected on a platform of trying to eliminate Obamacare and so far has done his best to do what he said so what's the problem? Unlike our fearless leader that has lied about just about everything he has said. So I would say the Tea Party has more character in just Cruz than the whole Democratic Party!

    October 16, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  2. Data Driven


    "We can't keep spending like Obama has been and have a country. I hope you libs are proud that you've given your grandchildren even more debt to pay off."

    Hey, Catmandew! Check out this Fun Fact! The United States has been in Debt since 1789, on the very day of our official founding! And yet we became a global empire anyway! Come up with another excuse to hate the President, because the "debt" thing is reeeeelly, reeeeelly weak. Didn't bother you guys when Reagan and Bush 2 sent deficits and the debt skyrocketing, now did it, hmmmmm?

    Now be honest! What's the REAL reason for disliking Obama?

    October 16, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  3. tom

    I am glad to see that the stand off is about over. I believe that both sides have worked hard to try and get this settled and even though I disagree how it has been handled I am still glad that we have the system that we have compared to the rest of the world. How lucky we are to live in the good old USA.

    October 16, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  4. jinx9to88

    I would vote Repub again if they get rid of the wacko birds and come more to the center.

    October 16, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  5. What's in that tea anyway?

    @Rick McDaniel

    No one BUT the Tea Party, is standing up for what's needed in America. They are still, the only hope for saving this country which has fallen into the hands of a dictator.

    Bwahahahahaha....You are a riot Rick. Nobody would ever look at you as a profound intellect....I mean just consider what you just wrote: If President Obama was a dictator the government never would have shut down ...but you never write anything but non-sense anyway. You are absolutely stealing with your blogging for the Tea foolery/circus. I guess you get paid for writing the most useless drivel, that only a dunce would appreciate...You might take a break now that the Tea Party is even unpopular amoungst Republicans....hence this poll....but that probably means nothing to you...keep the $$$$'s coming, faux news talking points 24×7 yee yaaw

    October 16, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  6. Thomas

    TED CRUZ 2016
    Please run , your the best thing that has happened to the Democratic party since Herbert Hover and Joe McCarthy !

    We need a third party of fiscal conservatives that are not CRAZY !

    October 16, 2013 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  7. Don

    " the public debt actually shrank to zero by January 1835, under President Andrew Jackson"

    October 16, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  8. Thomas

    The tea party are the only people stating the truth. We can't keep spending like Obama has been and have a country. I hope you libs are proud that you've given your grandchildren even more debt to pay off. Ted Cruz got elected on a platform of trying to eliminate Obamacare and so far has done his best to do what he said so what's the problem? Unlike our fearless leader that has lied about just about everything he has said. So I would say the Tea Party has more character in just Cruz than the whole Democratic Party!

    How much did the war in Iraq cost ?

    If nut job crazy wackos would support growth , infrastructure , education and fiscal spending , we could be out of debt in five years .

    Next time you want to go to war , you better raise taxes , .................

    October 16, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  9. Michael

    Catmandew and his ilk are a sad lot, to be sure. It's clear that no amount of facts or figures will ever change their point of view. Every economist on the planet saying in 2007 that Wall St. needed to bailed out or the world economy would fold meant nothing to them. Every economist in 2012 saying the debt ceiling needed to be lifted or our credit would tank meant nothing to them. Every economist saying it needed to be lifted in 2013 meant nothing to them. The ignorance is astounding and what's really sad is if they got their way and the economy collapsed, they'd just pull out their stockpiles of weapons and shoot their way to getting their hands on the last scraps of wealth remaining in the country. They are a sick, sad, stupid lot and my only hope is that next year when American go to the polls they remember to remove as many as a they can and to punish the rest of the Republican party for allowing them to gain the power they have. The idea that a group of people who claim to love democracy and love America could take a position that the minority should rule is truly beyond belief.

    October 16, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  10. glennrobert

    The Tea Party is setting the Republicans up for defeat in the next two elections. Now back to bad mouthing Hillary she needs the free advertising.

    October 16, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  11. Tom

    The credit card has been used by a few more presidents than the current one to get us to this point. I'm not a genius but I'm pretty sure easy math shows it costs more to run a couple of wars than it does to try to boost an economy because of a couple of wars.

    October 16, 2013 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  12. HJC

    We should not care when doing the right thing is either popular or not.

    Until Americans understand the dire financial peril we are in the politicians will just keep kicking the can down the road. They are simply stealing tomorrow’s prosperity to sate the spending appetites of their voters. Every politician in America knows the trouble we are in and is just hoping it doesn’t fall apart on their watch.

    October 16, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  13. cheetah2003

    I'm glad it's done with too, at least for a couple months.

    I must say this though, for all our problems, I have to say I am in awe of our senators and congressmen. Why? How they got through this without ripping each other literally to pieces... yeah, I'm impressed.

    October 17, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  14. Peteyroo

    The Tea Party is a fraud.

    October 17, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  15. Tony B

    tea party: racist, reactionary trash. Nothing more.

    October 17, 2013 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  16. David Mann

    Ted Cruz was accused of not having an "exit strategy", but that analysis is wrong. He's much too smart for that. He knew exactly what he was doing, and he ALMOST accomplished his intended purpose; which was to demolish the US economy. He knows he will never be President, but that isn't what he was sent here to do. His mission was to bring America to it's knees, and he almost succeeded, with a lot of help from those ignorant sheep in the Tea Party. Think about it...everything Ted Cruz has done has been for the express purpose of destroying America. Who has the most to gain from America's (and the Global) economy going in the tank? China! Ted Cruz is not only unpatriotic, he's a traitor. Ted Cruz IS the "Manchurian Candidate".

    October 17, 2013 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  17. Dan5404

    i'm an old white guy from the South, but I was ashamed of the ridiculous fake rally by Cruz, Palin, Bachmann and Lee at the veteran's memorial. I have pride in a lot of Southern culture, but when elected officials allow a confederate flag to be part of this ultra right-wing propaganda party and not ask them to remove it, that tells you exactly why these nuts hate Obama: racism. The organizer of the real march the Tea Party hijacked expressed his anger that a bunch of partisan politicians ruined the Vet's day with their ridiculous extremism, when the event was not partisan at all.
    They and their very minority party with 20% approval may think the South's gonna rise again in the form of a grassroots revolution. It will not happen. We lost that war 148 years and the Confederate flag is a racial insult that most Americans don't like.

    October 17, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  18. Tom

    Let's face it, the Tea Party is full of nutcases.

    October 17, 2013 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  19. mrme85

    Its about time the Tea Party takes a hit, there crazy notions got us to the brink again. Hopefully during the mid term elections next year most of those bums will be kicked out if not by the '16 election. Its about time the Tea Party get it through their think skulls they are suppose to work for the people not special interests or has the deeper pocket.

    October 17, 2013 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  20. Roger K

    I am sick of big corporations not paying the tax due to lobbying for tax loopholes. Keeping the profits outside America and wait for one of concessions from government to bring part of that money. Even though I am a self made millionaire I am sick of rich people using tax loopholes( myself included) to pay very low tax rates. I don't think it is morally right thing to do. If big corporations and rich people don't pay our society will collapse due to heavy burden on poor and middle class. Government needs money for roads, schools etc. I am not for big government but I think Tea party is taking it to extreme.

    October 17, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  21. 3rd World Observer

    Re: @Data Driven; @Catmandew,

    As a non-US citizen who has followed closely & deeply the arguments from both sides – including Tea Partyers; and with an advanced background in economics, I have come to the conclusion that Tea Party supporters especially, have no real understanding of economics and President Obama's policies. Their rabid opposition to the present government is, frankly, because they are simply UNABLE to accept a non-white as president. Hence the suspicions and accusations of him being a 'Muslim' , a 'Communist/Socialist', ' Non-American'. Question them deeper, and they will be unable to present a coherent & logical argument that supports their position regarding debts, economics, social welfare. They can merely cite 'We need to take back the country to what our Founding Fathers envisioned...', etc. But WHAT exactly are those ??

    October 17, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  22. scott cisney

    Deficits are down from the projection for the year and are expected to decline for several years. Since the last repyblican president turned the surplus he inherired into a deficit within one year I can't take the right's concern over deficits in the aftermath of the 2008 crash seriously. Deficits willgo up automatically in recessions and you want that to supplement lost private demand. Sequestration will actually grow the deficit if we let the next round go into effect in January. It is the wrong medicine at the wrong time. But this is all lost on tea party people who never took an economics class before they dropped out of college in their first semester!

    October 17, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  23. Pratt

    The problem with the TP is two fold....one, most voters didn't really know what they stood for OTHER than they were something different. And different is NOT a reason to vote for an ideology if you don't know what that ideology is. And secondly, they got tied into the GOP, which justified their wacko thoughts to voters who didn't know what the wacko thoughts were. Now the cats out, and the Tea Party will die...and it should.

    October 17, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  24. Bob Barker

    It's time for the Tea Party to get their own candidate and party status - and for the Republicans to cast these people out of their party, regardless. Let's just see how well the Tea Party can do on their own across the entire country (lol). The Republicans dug their own grave and (obviously) shackled themselves by pandering to them. But, ya know, the Republicans probably won't do it; they're (like the Democratic Party) addicted to votes regardless of the cost.

    As an outsider to America I want to suggest that you people need to get your politics in order. Things are severely out of whack! For starters, your nomination and campaign processes are ridiculously long and ridiculously EXPENSIVE and there are far too many corporate entities out there paying for influence with little accountability. And SuperPACS?? Gimme a break!

    October 17, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  25. Hadenuffyet

    It's too easy when you line yourself up like ducks in a shooting gallery . The GOP has got to shake these zealots loose or they'll never see another win.

    October 17, 2013 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
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