A new poll indicates that most voters, by a 48 percent to 44 percent margin, believe the tea party's views are closer to their own than President Obama's are.
The question that Rasmussen Reports posed to 1,000 likely voters: "When you think about the major issues facing the country, whose views are closest to your own, President Barack Obama or the average tea party member?"
Forty-eight percent answered that the average tea party member's views were closer. Forty-four percent selected President Obama, and 8 percent weren't sure.
Despite weeks of media reports portraying the tea parties as extremists, among all-important independent voters the pro-tea party sentiment was even stronger.
Fifty percent of those not affiliated with a party favored the tea parties, compared to 38 percent who say President Obama's thinking more closely reflects their own.
"Unaffiliated voters are continuing the pattern they established in 2006 and 2008 of opposing the party in power," pollster Scott Rasmussen observed. The author of In Search of Self-Governance added. "The American people don't want to be governed from the left, the right, or the center. They want to govern themselves."
The poll also found that, by a 45 percent to 35 percent margin, voters considered the views of the average tea partier closer to their own than the views of the average labor union member.
There was one group the tea party lost out to, however. By 47 to 41 percent, voters said the average school teacher was more in touch with their own views than the average tea party member. Twelve percent were undecided.
Still, the tea party fared relatively well on that question compared to members of Congress.
Just 15 percent of voters thought the average member of Congress had views closer to their own, compared to the average school teacher.
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