Support for the Tea Party has fallen sharply even in places considered Tea Party strongholds, according to a new survey.
In Congressional districts represented by Tea Party lawmakers, the number of people who disagree with the Tea Party has risen sharply over the year since the movement powered a Republican sweep in midterm elections. Almost as many people disagree with the Tea Party as agree with it, according to the poll by the Pew Research Center.
In the sixty districts represented in Congress by a member of the House Tea Party Caucus, Republicans are viewed about as negatively as Democrats.
The Tea Party is dragging down the Republican Party heading into a Presidential election, even as it ushered in a Republican majority in the House a year ago.
Polls have shown a decline in support for the Tea Party because its hard line during the debate over the debt ceiling and deficit reduction made it less an abstraction. In earlier polls, most Americans did not know enough about the Tea Party to offer an opinion.
The Pew survey shows that Tea Party support declined even in places where it had been particularly robust.
The number of people who disagree with the Tea Party had risen among the public and in the districts represented by the Tea Party caucus, according to one of the polls. Among the public, 27% said they disagreed with the Tea Party, and 20% said they agreed. A year ago, 27% agreed and 22% disagreed with the Tea Party.
In Tea Party districts, 23% of people disagree with the Tea Party, while 25% agree. A year ago, 33% of people in those districts agreed with the Tea Party, and 18% disagreed.
Opinions of the Republican Party dropped sharply in Tea Party districts. In an October Pew poll, 48% of people in those places had a negative view of the Republican Party; 41% have a favorable view. The favorable rating dropped fourteen points since March.
That drop was sharper than among the public, where the percentage of people with a favorable opinion of the Republican Party dropped to 36%, from 42% in March.
Opinions about the Democratic Party shifted less. In Tea Party districts, unfavorable ratings for the Democrats dropped, to 50% in October from 57% in August. Favorable ratings stayed about the same — at 39% in October, and 37% in August.