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Tea Party at Year's End

The Tea Party movement was one of the biggest political stories during the 2010 election season. From an electoral standpoint, the grassroots movement had it first impact by forcing long-time Senator Arlen Specter out of the Republican Party (and eventually out of the U.S. Senate). By the end of the season, several Tea Party candidates such as Florida’s Marco Rubio and Kentucky’s Rand Paul were elected to the U.S. Senate.

A plurality of voters nationwide expect these Tea Party candidates to sell out and become just like other politicians. However, Tea Party activists are much more confident that these candidates will remain true to their beliefs. Pressure from the Tea Party clearly played a role in the lame duck session of Congress and may be largely responsible for the tax cut deal that was signed by President Obama.

Forty-one percent (41%) believe the Tea Party movement will be stronger in 2012 than it was in 2010.

At year's end, 21% of voters nationwide consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement. Another 11% have close friends or family members who are involved.

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