In the ongoing budget-cutting debate in Washington, some congressional Democrats have accused their Republican opponents of being held captive by the Tea Party movement, but voters like the Tea Party more than Congress.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters say when it comes to the major issues facing the country, their views are closer to the average Tea Party member as opposed to the average member of Congress. Just 22% say their views are closest to those of the average congressman. Even more (30%) aren’t sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
This shows little change from a survey in late March of last year.
Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters think the Tea Party movement is good for the country, consistent with findings since May 2010. Twenty-six percent (26%) disagree and say the grassroots, small government movement is bad for America. Sixteen percent (16%) say neither.
Forty-five percent (45%) say the average Tea Party member has a better understanding of the problems America faces today than the average member of Congress does. That figure is down seven points from a year ago. Still, today only 31% think the average member of Congress has a better understanding. Twenty-three percent (23%) are undecided.
One-third of voters continue to have ties to the Tea Party movement. That includes 22% who say they themselves are members and 12% more who say they have friends or family who belong. Those findings haven’t budged from the end of December. Fifty-two percent (52%) say they have no links to the Tea Party, but 14% are not sure.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 1-2, 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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