Survey: Americans Split Over Tea Party's Influence

Image: Survey: Americans Split Over Tea Party's Influence David Brat, left, and Chris McDaniel

Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 09:21 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Americans are divided whether the tea party has become more influential in American politics, according to a new poll.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll showed that 30 percent of Americans think that the tea party’s has made inroads on the political scene in the past two years while 27 percent say its influence has remained the same, and another 20 percent say its influence has declined.

When it comes to viewing the conservative group as a force to be reckoned with, American were also split into various camps.

The poll revealed that 26 percent of respondents predict that the tea party's influence in politics will increase in the next two years, while 24 percent believe its influence will stay the same, and 23 percent say its influence will decline.

However, there was a marked difference of opinion about the tea party’s future strength between Republicans and Democrats in the survey of 1,000 adults conducted July 2-3.

Forty-six percent of Republicans said the tea party's influence will increase in the next two years, contrasting with just 10 percent who say its influence will decrease. However, 18 percent of Democrats say the group’s influence will be more significant in the next few years, while 34 percent said its influence will be less significant.

The poll was taken after the surprising recent results of two GOP primaries involving tea party candidates David Brat and Chris McDaniel, Brat unexpectedly defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia while McDaniel lost to Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi in a runoff election that he was expected to win.

Americans also disagreed on whether the tea party had been effective in Congress.

Thirty-five percent said that lawmakers on Capitol Hill have accomplished less due to the impact of the tea party while 8 percent felt that it had accomplished more. Thirty-five percent said that tea party has not added to or subtracted from the accomplishments of Congress.

They Huff Post/YouGov poll also revealed that one-third of Americans support the views and ideologies of the tea party movement, while another third oppose the group’s goals, and 21 percent said they were not on one side or the other.

There was a wider margin along party lines, with 67 percent Republicans backing the movement’s goals, while 32 percent of independents and just 11 percent of Democrats supported its efforts. Only 5 percent of Republicans oppose the tea party’s opinions while 25 percent of independents and 60 percent of Democrats are against the group’s goals.

Nearly one in eight respondents, 13 percent, affiliated themselves with the tea party movement, while 69 percent said they did not think of themselves as being a part of the movement.

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