The tea party is more unpopular than ever, according to a new national poll that also suggests that even many Republicans now view the grass-roots conservative movement in a negative light.
A Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday also indicates that Sen. Ted Cruz, one of the ringleaders of the conservative push to tie dismantling the national health care law to the funding of the federal government, has seen his popularity jump among tea party Republicans and drop among non-tea party GOPers.
According to the poll, which was conducted October 9 through Sunday, 49% of Americans said they have a negative view of the tea party, a slight rise of four percentage points from June. Three in 10 questioned said they see the tea party in a positive light, down seven points from June.
The tea party movement was born in early 2009 to protest the Wall Street bailouts initiated under President George W. Bush a few months earlier. It also opposed the stimulus and other economic and health care policies of President Barack Obama, who succeeded Bush in the White House.
The poll indicates the drop in favorable views of the tea party is not coming just from Democrats and independents.
"The Tea Party's favorability rating has fallen across most groups since June, but the decline has been particularly dramatic among moderate and liberal Republicans. In the current survey, just 27% of moderate and liberal Republicans have a favorable impression of the Tea Party, down from 46% in June," a release from the Pew Research Center said.
Cruz has become much more visible during the shutdown and the showdown leading up the shutdown. And the poll indicates Cruz's popularity among tea party Republicans has soared, from 47% in July to 74% now. But among those who say they are non-tea party Republicans, the freshman senator from Texas and possible 2016 GOP White House contender's unfavorable rating jumped from 16% to 31%.
The Pew Research Center poll was conducted October 9 to 13, with 1,504 adults nationwide -- including 655 Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP -- questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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