Only 8% Of Likely Voters Consider Themselves Part Of The Tea Party Movement

The political power of the Tea Party movement appears to have declined significantly:

The Tea Party has gone dry.

Once the talk of the nation and a well-supported positive force in politics, membership has dropped as has their approval rating, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll.

Rasmussen found:

— Just 8 percent of likely voters say they are Tea Party members, down from 24 percent in 2010.

— Some 30 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party, down from 51 perent in 2009.

— 56 percent said it has become less influential.

More from the Rasmussen Poll:

Views of the Tea Party movement are at their lowest point ever, with voters for the first time evenly divided when asked to match the views of the average Tea Party member against those of the average member of Congress. Only eight percent (8%) now say they are members of the Tea Party, down from a high of 24% in April 2010 just after passage of the national health care law.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 30% of Likely U.S. Voters now have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party. Half (49%) of voters have an unfavorable view of the movement. Twenty-one percent (21%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In April 2009 when the Tea Party protests against President Obama’s spending policies first erupted, 51% of Americans held a favorable opinion of the movement. However, just 35% felt that way by last July.

Only 34% of voters now believe the Tea Party movement is good for the country, down from 49% in April 2011. Slightly more (40%) think the Tea Party is bad for the country, while 17% say neither.

By all appearances, it seems clear that the Tea Party movement reached its zenith during the battles over the President’s health care reform efforts and, subsequently, the 2010 midterms. Ever since then, public approval of the movement has declined precipitously without little sign that it’s going to turn around any time soon. At the same time, the Tea Party has become ever more integrated into the base of the Republican Party and the GOP has become, in many respects and especially in the House GOP Caucus, a reflection of the Tea Party. This doesn’t bode well for the near term political future of Republican politicians I would imagine.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. edmondo says:

    Looks like the Koch Brothers need to throw some money at that.

  2. john personna says:

    I called Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” commercial as the shark jump. It was down hill from there.

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    Well if you make the parameters of the poll to have more self-identified tea partiers, you’ll see actually 50% of the nation supports the tea party.

    The sample just doesn’t have enough tea partiers.

    This poll is ridiculous.

  4. Scott O says:

    Based on Rasmussen’s final election poll, it’s safe to assume that the actually number of Tea Party types is 5 or 6%.

  5. Tony W says:

    Can’t name another 8%-of-the-voters group that gets this much press attention from the “liberal media”

  6. Mikey says:

    @john personna:

    I called Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” commercial as the shark jump. It was down hill from there.

    She’s a witch!

  7. M. Bouffant says:

    @Tony W:
    Thereby “proving liberal bias” in the media, right?

  8. labman57 says:

    The tea party — out of steam, but still full of hot air.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    I’d say that quite a few people are lying to the pollsters.

    Now that Tea Party people are getting heat, many people don’t want to tell pollsters that they’re believers in the Tea Party Movement.

  10. swbarnes2 says:

    Self labeling is of limited value. If they vote for Tea Party members, they are Tea Party supporters, even if it hurts their tender white guy feelings to openly say so. It’s about the facts, not their oh-so precious fee-fees.

  11. Tony W says:

    @M. Bouffant: Indeed – and that was my point. “Dislike” votes indicate an alternate reading may have been conveyed 🙂

    Stated a better way: The “Tea Party” has been blown up into a movement far larger than itself via our supposedly “liberal” media.

  12. de stijl says:


    By all appearances, it seems clear that the Tea Party movement reached its zenith during the battles over the President’s health care reform efforts

    Or its nadir, depending upon your POV.

    I’m still gobsmacked by the seemingly standard-issue, old-school R like Chuck Grassley jabbering on about “death panels are gonna pull the plug on grandma” when he was a staunch supporter of a health insurance mandate a mere year earlier.

    One could understand a back-bench grenade chucker ex VP candidate who was almost one heartbeat from the Big Chair like Sarah Palin spinning it this way – but thankfully she was never a major voice in the Republican party LOL, but Grassley?!? Bob Dole 2.0 minus the WWII stuff, Chuck Grassley?

    Gingrichism run amok & given a new name.

    I want my country back!

  13. Rob in CT says:

    So they’re back to calling themselves Republicans again, whatever.

  14. James in LA says:

    8% is not to be trusted among loyal “lying for the lord” soldiers. Whatever the number, they remain the grinch-esque heart of the GOP.