As the Tea Party has evolved from a grass-roots movement to become a major force on Capitol Hill, public views of the Tea Party have grown more negative. Slightly more disagree with the Tea Party than agree with the movement – a reversal in public evaluations from a year ago.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted March 30-April 3, among 1,507 adults, finds that 29% say they disagree with the Tea Party, while fewer (22%) agree; nearly half (49%) say they do not have an opinion either way. Since last March, the percentage saying they disagree with the movement has grown 15 points while the percentage saying they agree with the Tea Party has remained mostly unchanged (24% March 2010, 22% April 2011.).
The rise in negative views of the Tea Party has occurred largely among political independents and Democrats. Last March, more independents agreed than disagreed with the Tea Party by a 26% to 14% margin. Today, as many independents disagree as agree with the Tea Party (27% each); the percentage disagreeing with the Tea Party has risen 13 points.
Read the full report Tea Party: Better Known, Less Popular on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.