Support for tea party beliefs remains alive among some members of the Republican Party, even as a majority is floating closer to its more mainstream roots, a new Pew Research Center poll
The Washington Post
reports that while tea party candidates didn't knock out opponents in any Senate primaries in 2014, a full 86 percent of Republicans are united as they register a favorable view of their party and its current agenda, according to the Pew survey.
That latest favorability figure has risen 17 points from the 69 percent polled in 2012, when the tea party was a stronger influence after the presidential election, the Post said.
Republicans, however, remain "significantly more suspect of their leaders than Democrats," the Post said, citing just 27 percent of those in the Pew survey who rate their party leaders as doing an "excellent" or "good" job maintaining the GOP's traditional positions.
Support for Republican congressional leadership is mixed among the GOP, as 49 disapprove of their agenda while 40 percent approve. That marks a slight dip after November's midterm elections, when 44 percent approved and 43 percent disapproved, Pew found.
Republicans, at 27 percent, express more optimism than Democrats or Independents (20 percent) that a bipartisan spirit will increase in the new Congress, Pew said.
Pundits have speculated on how much influence tea party support might have on a GOP presidential candidate in 2016 as some move to the middle on social issues, softening conservative positions that have been tea party staples, The New York Times
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