According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds three in 10 Americans describe themselves as Tea Party supporters. What's less clear, the survey reports, is just what it means to support the Tea Party. The poll pretty much confirms what recent election results have proven about the Tea Party: It’s less an organized political party and more of a conservative ideological movement.
In many respects, the Gallup results show that the Tea Party is basically Republicanism operating under a different name. A majority of Tea Party supporters describe themselves as Republican—62 percent call themselves “conservative Republican” and 17 percent say they are a “moderate or liberal Republican.” Just 6 percent say they are independent, while 15 percent say they are Democrats.
It's true that Tea Party candidates like Rand Paul won their primaries in part by attacking the GOP establishment. But the poll finds Tea Partiers are still more likely to support Republicans. Eighty percent of the poll's self-identified Tea Partiers say they will support their local GOP candidate in a congressional race, compared to 15 percent who plan to vote for the Democrat.Read More »from What is the Tea Party? Even its supporters don't know