More voters still think the average Tea Party member has a better handle on America’s problems than the average member of Congress does, but there’s a sharp difference of opinion between Democrats and Republicans.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% of all Likely U.S. Voters believe the average member of the Tea Party has a better understanding of the problems America faces today, while 34% think the average member of Congress is more clued in. Twenty-four percent (24%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Still, that marks a 10-point drop in confidence in the Tea Party from March of last year when 52% felt the average member of the grass roots smaller government group had a better understanding of America’s problems. But the new findings aren’t a big boost of confidence in Congress since there’s been only a slight increase from the 30% in March 2010 who thought the average congressman had a better feel for the nation’s problems.
Sixty percent (60%) of Democrats, however, have more confidence in the average member of Congress. But 68% of Republicans - and a plurality (46%) of voters not affiliated with either major party – think the average Tea Party member has a better understanding of today’s problems.
Just 36% of all voters now have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party which has come under fire from President Obama and congressional Democrats for pressuring Republicans into rejecting any tax increases as part of the recent deal to raise the federal debt ceiling. Forty-four percent (44%) view the Tea Party unfavorably, while 20% are not sure what they think of the group.
But again there’s a noticeable partisan divide. While 63% of GOP voters hold a favorable opinion of the Tea Party, 75% of Democrats regard the group unfavorably. Unaffiliated voters share that unfavorable opinion by a slim 42% to 38% margin.
(Want a free daily e-mail update ? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 5-6, 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.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.