Four in 10 Republicans support Tea Party

Greg Nash

Forty-one percent of Republicans support the Tea Party, according to a new poll. The latest finding is down nearly 20 percentage points from an all-time high. 

A Gallup survey released Thursday found 11 percent of Republicans or Republican-leaning independents are opposed to the conservative Tea Party wing of the GOP, while another 48 percent say they are neither a supporter nor opponent. 

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Support for the Tea Party peaked ahead of the 2010 wave midterm elections when 61 percent of Republicans supported the movement and only 5 percent opposed it. 

Overall, 48 percent of adults say they are neither supporters nor opponents of the movement. Another 30 percent call themselves opponents, while 22 percent call themselves supporters. 

Those numbers have changed little in the last year. Gallup found the same level of overall support when it tested the question last December. 

Conservative Republicans are the only group that gives the Tea Party majority support, with 54 percent approval. That number drops to 23 percent support among moderate Republicans. Only 14 percent of pure independents support the movement. 

Many observers saw Tuesday's primary elections in North Carolina and two other states as a win for the establishment over the Tea Party, where North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis avoided a runoff against a Republican challenger and can now focus his resources on the general election. 

Those who identify with the Tea Party continue to be more enthusiastic about the midterms and have given the election a lot more thought than other Republicans, according to the poll. 

Fifty-two percent of Tea Party supporters said they are more enthusiastic about voting this year, compared to 35 percent of all other Republicans who felt the same. 

The poll conducted April 24-30 surveyed 1,513 national adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.