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Poll: Tea party less popular than ever

A new poll finds the tea party less popular than ever. The Pew Research Center for the People and Politics found overall 49 percent of the public has an unfavorable opinion of the tea party.

In June, the survey found that 45 percent had an unfavorable opinion of the tea party and, in February 2010, just 25 percent had an unfavorable opinion of the movement. At that time, more people viewed the tea party favorable than unfavorably.

The ratings suffered in 2011, after Republicans won a House majority and tea party members played a leading role in the debt ceiling crisis that summer, according to Pew.

Since June, the tea party’s ratings have suffered among all groups. The survey found that now, just 27 percent of moderate Republicans have a favorable impression of the tea party. Even among conservative Republicans the tea party’s approval rating has dropped – from 74 percent in June to 65 percent now.

About 47 percent of those surveyed said they think of the tea party movement as separate and independent from the Republican Party, while 38 percent said it is a part of the Republican Party.

Tea party advocates, according to the survey, tend to be male, older than the 50 years and white.

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