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Three Way Race: Democrat 40% Republican 21% Tea Party 18%

Friday, June 10, 2011

A congressional race with an official Tea Party candidate in the running appears to be good news for Democrats.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds that in a three-way congressional contest with a Tea Party candidate on the ballot, the Democrat picks up 40% of the vote. The Republican earns 21% support, while nearly as many (18%) favor the Tea Party candidate. Twenty-one percent (21%), however, remain undecided.

Not surprisingly, Republicans and unaffiliated voters are more likely to be undecided than Democrats. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This is a slightly improved picture for Democrats from early February of last year. In a three-way matchup at that time, the Democrat earned 36% to the Republican’s 25%, while the Tea Party candidate won 17% of the vote.

In a two-way race, Republicans continue to hold a modest advantage over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

In the new survey, the Tea Party candidate draws 28% support from GOP voters, while 85% of Democrats back their party’s candidate. Just 45% of Republicans support the Republican candidate in the three-way matchup. Among voters not affiliated with either of the major parties, 15% like the Republican, 29% the Democrat and 25% the Tea Party candidate.

Sixteen percent (16%) of all voters now consider themselves members of the Tea Party movement, down from 21% at the end of last year. Sixty-nine percent (69%) say they are not members, while another 15% are not sure.

Just 9% of voters rate the performance of Congress as good or excellent.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 9, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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