About 7 in 10 national adults, including 88% of Republicans, say it is important that Republican leaders in Congress take the Tea Party movement’s positions and objectives into account as they address the nation’s problems. Among Republicans, 53% rate this “very important.”
These results are from aÂ USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Jan. 14-16, several days before President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
Although few Democrats (6%) are supporters of the Tea Party or even have a favorable view of it (11%), more than half say it is important that the Republican Party take the Tea Party’s positions into account. Why this is the case is unclear, although Democrats may simply feel that the opposing party should pay attention to all of its constituencies.
Perhaps underscoring the same principle, Republicans overwhelmingly feel their leaders should take the Tea Party’s positions into account, even though barely half are self-identified as Tea Party supporters.
Despite Americans’ willingness to have Tea Party voices heard, it is not clear that the Republican Party benefits when Tea Party leaders publicly overshadow its own. Indeed, the GOP confronted that issue last week when Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party-sanctioned response to Obama’s State of the Union address seemed to draw attention away from the Republican Party’s official response given by Rep. Paul Ryan.
The Republican Party has a somewhat more favorable image nationally than does the Tea Party, and by the widest margin seen over the past year. In the poll, 47% of Americans had a favorable opinion of the Republican Party compared with 39% holding a favorable view of the Tea Party movement.
Read more from Lydia Saad at Gallup