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41% Expect Tea Party To Play Bigger Role in 2012

The Tea Party was widely credited (or blamed) with playing a major role in Election 2010 and most voters expect that the grass roots movement will have as much, if not more, influence on the 2012 political campaigns.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of voters think the Tea Party will play a bigger role in next year’s campaigns than it did in 2010, while 30% expect its role in 2012 to be about the same. Only 21% say the movement will play a smaller role in the 2012 political campaigns. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Tea Party members are much more emphatic: 79% expect their movement to play a bigger role in the 2012 campaigns, while only five percent (5%) think its role will be smaller. Fourteen percent (14%) predict its role will be about the same.

Those with no ties to the Tea Party have much more mixed views: 30% say the movement’s role will be bigger next year, 26% smaller and 35% about the same.

So far Tea Party members seem pretty satisfied with the candidates they elected. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of members think those candidates will remain true to their beliefs, but 61% of those with no ties to the movement say the Tea Party candidates will sell out and become just like other politicians.

(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 U.S. Voters was conducted on December 15-16, 2010 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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