March 24, 2010 - Tea Party Could Hurt GOP In Congressional Races, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Dems Trail 2-Way Races, But Win If Tea Party Runs

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Only 13 percent of American voters say they are part of the Tea Party movement, a group that has more women than men; is mainly white and Republican and voted for John McCain, and strongly supports Sarah Palin, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

While voters say 44 - 39 percent that they will vote for a Republican over a Democratic candidate in this November's Congressional elections, if there is a Tea Party candidate on the ballot, the Democrat would get 36 percent to the Republican's 25 percent, with 15 percent for the Tea Party candidate, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

By a 28 - 23 percent margin, American voters have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party, with 49 percent who say they don't know enough about the group to form an opinion.

American voter opinion of the Democratic Party is 48 - 33 unfavorable, with opinion of the Republican Party 42 - 33 percent unfavorable.

While 70 percent of all voters are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going in America today, 92 percent of Tea Party members are dissatisfied.

Government does too many things better left to businesses and individuals, 54 percent of all voters say, while 42 percent say government is not doing enough. Tea Party members say 83 - 15 percent that government is doing too much.

"The Tea Party movement is mostly made up of people who consider themselves Republicans," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "They are less educated but more interested in politics than the average Joe and Jane Six-Pack and are not in a traditional sense swing voters."

"The Tea Party could be a Republican dream - or a GOP nightmare. Members could be a boon to the GOP if they are energized to support Republican candidates. But if the Tea Party were to run its own candidates for office, any votes its candidate received would to a very great extent be coming from the GOP column," Brown added.

Looking at voters who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement:
  • 74 percent are Republicans or independent voters leaning Republican;
  • 16 percent are Democrats or independent voters leaning Democratic;
  • 5 percent are solidly independent;
  • 45 percent are men;
  • 55 percent are women;
  • 88 percent are white;
  • 77 percent voted for Sen. John McCain in 2008;
  • 15 percent voted for President Barack Obama.
A total of 19 percent of American voters trust government to do the right thing "almost all of the time" or "most of the time," compared to only 4 percent of Tea Party members.

While only 33 percent of all voters have a favorable opinion of Sarah Palin, 72 percent of Tea Party members have a favorable opinion of her.

"Overall, this survey paints a picture of the Tea Party movement that encompasses a broad swath of the American middle class, but clearly at this stage one that is a minority group. In essence their numbers equate to about the size of the African-American electorate overall," said Brown.

Only 4 percent of voters making more than $250,000 per year consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, while percentages among all other age and income groups are close to the 13 percent overall Tea Party affiliation.

From March 16 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,907 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points. The survey includes 253 voters who say they are part of the Tea Party movement, with a margin of error of +/- 6.2 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

2. If the 2010 election for the U.S. House of Representatives were being held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate in your district?
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
Republican           44%    90%     4%    45%    81%    14%    82%
Democrat             39      2     86     27      7     72     10
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      2      1      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      -      -      1      -      1      -
DK/NA                16      8      9     25     11     13      6
 
                                                        ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME.
                                   AGE IN YRS.......           50-    100-
                     Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+    <50k   100k   250k >250k
Republican           45%    43%    38%    48%    43%    38%    47%    53%    48%
Democrat             39     39     41     38     40     45     34     33     32
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      1      1      1      2      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      1      -      1      1      -      1      -
DK/NA                14     17     18     13     16     14     18     13     19
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew    Wht    Blk    His
Republican           44%    44%    68%    60%    54%    17%    52%     8%    30%
Democrat             38     39     18     24     29     68     30     79     56
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      1      2      -      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      -      -      1      1      1      -      -
DK/NA                16     15     12     15     14     14     16     12     13
 
TREND: If the 2010 election for the U.S. House of Representatives were being held today, would you vote for - the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate in your district?
                     Mar 24  Jul 2   Jun 4   Apr 29
                     2010    2009    2009    2009
Republican           44      34      32      34
Democrat             39      42      42      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       2       2       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       1       1       1
DK/NA                16      21      22      22
 
 
3. Suppose a Tea Party candidate were running in your district. If the 2010 election for the U.S. House of Representatives were being held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate, the Democratic candidate, or the Tea Party candidate in your district?
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
Republican           25%    59%     2%    21%    32%    12%    31%
Democrat             36      2     83     22      4     75      9
Tea Party            15     17      6     23     36      1     40
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      1      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                22     22      8     33     27     11     19
 
                                                        ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME.
                                   AGE IN YRS.......           50-    100-
                     Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+    <50k   100k   250k >250k
Republican           25%    25%    23%    25%    27%    24%    28%    26%    24%
Democrat             35     37     42     32     36     40     35     32     40
Tea Party            18     13     17     19     11     15     15     20     15
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      -      1      -      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      -      -      -      1      -      1      -      -
DK/NA                21     24     18     24     24     21     21     21     21
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew    Wht    Blk    His
Republican           26%    24%    37%    35%    33%     9%    30%     6%    17%
Democrat             35     38     13     21     24     76     27     82     55
Tea Party            16     16     23     18     18      3     17      3     15
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      1      -      -      1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      1      1      -      -
DK/NA                22     22     26     25     25     11     25      8     13
 
 
8. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
Very satisfied        3%     -     8%     2%     1%     5%     1%
Smwht satisfied      26     11     48     20      6     44      7
Smwht dissatisfied   29     26     29     29     12     33     12
Very dissatisfied    41     62     14     47     80     17     80
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      -      1      -
 
                                                        ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME.
                                   AGE IN YRS.......           50-    100-
                     Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+    <50k   100k   250k >250k
Very satisfied        3%     4%     3%     3%     4%     4%     2%     2%     4%
Smwht satisfied      26     26     35     24     22     32     22     21     20
Smwht dissatisfied   28     29     32     28     27     29     29     31     24
Very dissatisfied    42     40     29     44     46     34     45     46     49
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      2      1      1      -      3
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew    Wht    Blk    His
Very satisfied        3%     4%     2%     2%     3%     7%     2%     8%     3%
Smwht satisfied      26     26     13     18     20     34     22     59     23
Smwht dissatisfied   29     26     27     28     27     30     28     21     34
Very dissatisfied    40     43     58     51     49     29     47      9     40
DK/NA                 1      1      -      1      1      -      1      2      -
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 24  Feb 11  Jan 13  Dec 22  Dec 9   Dec 11  Nov 13
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2001    2008
Very satisfied        3       2       2       2       3      21       2
Smwht satisfied      26      24      25      24      26      47      14
Smwht dissatisfied   29      33      31      34      32      19      38
Very dissatisfied    41      40      41      40      39      10      44
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1       1       3       2
 
 
16. Is your opinion of the - Republican Party favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about it?
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
Favorable            33%    73%     7%    28%    61%    12%    60%
Unfavorable          42     12     67     42     21     81     20
Hvn't hrd enough     21     12     23     25     13      5     14
REFUSED               4      4      2      5      5      2      7
 
                                                        ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME.
                                   AGE IN YRS.......           50-    100-
                     Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+    <50k   100k   250k >250k
Favorable            33%    34%    31%    35%    31%    29%    38%    40%    25%
Unfavorable          46     39     39     41     46     40     44     46     52
Hvn't hrd enough     19     23     27     20     19     28     15     12     16
REFUSED               3      4      4      4      4      3      3      3      7
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew    Wht    Blk    His
Favorable            33%    33%    51%    44%    48%    14%    40%     9%    15%
Unfavorable          38     52     25     35     32     53     38     58     55
Hvn't hrd enough     26     10     18     16     16     32     18     34     30
REFUSED               4      4      6      4      5      1      4      -      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of the Republican Pary favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     Mar 24  Nov 19  Oct 8   Jul 2   Apr 29  Apr 1   Nov 12
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2008
Favorable            33      28      25      25      27      27      36
Unfavorable          42      53      53      52      51      52      52
Hvn't hrd enough     21      16      18      20      17      17       7
REFUSED               4       4       4       3       5       4       5
 
 
17. Is your opinion of the - Democratic Party favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about it?
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
Favorable            33%     6%    70%    22%     7%    63%     8%
Unfavorable          48     82     11     55     89     26     82
Hvn't hrd enough     17     10     17     20      3     10      8
REFUSED               2      2      1      2      1      1      1
 
                                                        ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME.
                                   AGE IN YRS.......           50-    100-
                     Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+    <50k   100k   250k >250k
Favorable            33%    33%    37%    31%    33%    38%    32%    30%    34%
Unfavorable          52     45     37     52     51     38     55     62     51
Hvn't hrd enough     14     20     25     15     13     22     12      6     15
REFUSED               1      2      1      2      3      2      1      1      1
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew    Wht    Blk    His
Favorable            31%    38%    20%    23%    27%    57%    28%    60%    41%
Unfavorable          46     55     68     63     58     26     56     14     31
Hvn't hrd enough     21      5     11     12     13     18     14     25     28
REFUSED               2      2      1      2      2      -      2      1      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of the Democratic Party favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     Mar 24  Nov 19  Oct 8   Jul 2   Apr 29  Apr 1   Nov 12
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2008
Favorable            33      39      38      42      43      41      55
Unfavorable          48      46      46      42      41      42      35
Hvn't hrd enough     17      13      13      13      13      13       6
REFUSED               2       2       3       3       3       3       4
 
 
18. Is your opinion of the - Tea Party movement favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about it?
                                                 TEA PARTY
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    MemberQ30
Favorable            28%    47%     5%    33%    81%
Unfavorable          23      7     40     19      1
Hvn't hrd enough     49     45     54     47     17
REFUSED               1      1      1      -      1
 
                                                        ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME.
                                   AGE IN YRS.......           50-    100-
                     Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+    <50k   100k   250k >250k
Favorable            31%    25%    18%    31%    31%    23%    31%    34%    25%
Unfavorable          25     21     22     21     26     20     23     30     41
Hvn't hrd enough     44     53     60     47     42     56     45     36     34
REFUSED               -      1      -      1      1      1      -      -      -
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew    Wht    Blk    His
Favorable            27%    31%    47%    39%    34%    10%    33%     4%    24%
Unfavorable          19     33     11     16     20     49     22     27     19
Hvn't hrd enough     53     36     41     44     46     40     44     68     57
REFUSED               1      1      2      1      -      1      1      1      -
 
 
24. Is your opinion of - Sarah Palin favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
Favorable            33%    60%    10%    34%    70%     4%    72%
Unfavorable          51     26     73     49     16     91     14
Hvn't hrd enough     14     12     15     15     13      4     13
REFUSED               2      2      2      2      1      1      1
 
                                                        ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME.
                                   AGE IN YRS.......           50-    100-
                     Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+    <50k   100k   250k >250k
Favorable            32%    34%    30%    35%    31%    29%    40%    34%    25%
Unfavorable          53     49     56     49     49     51     47     56     72
Hvn't hrd enough     14     15     13     13     17     18     12      8      2
REFUSED               1      2      -      2      2      2      1      2      1
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew    Wht    Blk    His
Favorable            34%    31%    55%    46%    40%     7%    39%    10%    28%
Unfavorable          46     61     29     38     46     69     47     67     46
Hvn't hrd enough     18      6     15     13     13     22     12     19     25
REFUSED               2      2      1      2      1      1      2      3      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Sarah Palin favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     Mar 24  Sep 18
                     2010    2008
Favorable            33      37
Unfavorable          51      30
Hvn't hrd enough     14      31
REFUSED               2       2
 
 
25. Which comes closer to your view: A) government should do more to solve problems, or B) government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals?
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
A) Shld do more      42%    15%    72%    36%    11%    68%    15%
B) Doing too much    54     83     22     59     88     25     83
DK/NA                 5      2      6      5      1      7      2
 
                                                        ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME.
                                   AGE IN YRS.......           50-    100-
                     Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+    <50k   100k   250k >250k
A) Shld do more      40%    44%    51%    41%    37%    48%    38%    32%    49%
B) Doing too much    57     51     48     54     56     47     58     65     47
DK/NA                 4      5      1      4      7      5      4      3      4
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew    Wht    Blk    His
A) Shld do more      42%    40%    24%    28%    32%    72%    34%    75%    58%
B) Doing too much    53     55     72     66     65     26     62     18     42
DK/NA                 5      5      4      6      3      2      5      6      -
 
 
26. How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right - almost all of the time, most of the time, only some of the time, or hardly ever?
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
Almost all the time   2%     -      5%     2%     -      5%     -
Most of the time     17      9     29     12      3     30      4
Some of the time     50     51     55     46     36     51     36
Hardly ever          30     40     10     40     60     14     58
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      1      2
 
                                                        ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME.
                                   AGE IN YRS.......           50-    100-
                     Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+    <50k   100k   250k >250k
Almost all the time   2%     2%     3%     2%     1%     3%     -      2%     2%
Most of the time     15     19     23     15     16     20     17     13     10
Some of the time     48     51     54     50     45     49     51     51     59
Hardly ever          34     28     20     33     35     26     31     33     28
DK/NA                 1      1      -      -      2      1      -      -      -
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew    Wht    Blk    His
Almost all the time   2%     1%     -      1%     -      1%     -     11%     7%
Most of the time     17     18     10     12     15     24     15     27     23
Some of the time     49     51     46     49     51     67     51     53     37
Hardly ever          31     29     43     37     33      9     33      8     32
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      1      1      1      -      2
 
TREND: How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right - almost all of the time, most of the time, only some of the time, or hardly ever?
                     Mar 24  Feb 11
                     2010    2010
Almost all the time   2       2
Most of the time     17      16
Some of the time     50      54
Hardly ever          30      27
DK/NA                 1       1
 
 
30. Do you consider yourself part of the Tea party movement or not?
                                                 TEA PARTY...
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav
Yes                  13%    21%     5%    15%    39%     1%
No                   80     74     89     78     58     99
DK/NA                 6      5      6      8      3      1
 
                                                        ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME.
                                   AGE IN YRS.......           50-    100-
                     Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+    <50k   100k   250k >250k
Yes                  13%    14%    10%    13%    16%    14%    12%    14%     4%
No                   82     79     84     82     76     78     85     84     92
DK/NA                 5      7      6      5      8      8      3      2      4
 
                                   WHITE.............
                     NoColl Coll   BrnAgn
                     Degree Degree Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew    Wht    Blk    His
Yes                  14%    11%    21%    19%    15%     3%    15%     7%     7%
No                   78     88     73     75     79     95     79     85     88
DK/NA                 8      2      7      6      6      2      6      8      4
 
 
50a. Some people seem to follow what's going on in government and public affairs most of the time, whether there's an election or not. Others aren't that interested. Would you say you follow what's going on in government and public affairs most of the time, some of the time, only now and then, or hardly at all?
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
Most of the time     63%    70%    57%    64%    84%    70%    82%
Some of the time     24     18     31     22     12     21     12
Only now and then     9     10      8     10      4      7      6
Hardly at all         4      3      4      4      1      2      -
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
 
50b. Generally speaking, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or what?
                            TEA PARTY..............
                            OPINION Q18.
                     Tot    Fav    UnFav  MemberQ30
Republican           28%    47%     9%    44%
Democrat             32      6     56     12
Independent          35     42     29     38
Other                 4      4      4      5
DK/NA                 2      -      2      -
 
 
50c. Generally speaking, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or what? (If Independent) Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican party or the Democratic party?
                            TEA PARTY..............
                            OPINION Q18.
                     Tot    Fav    UnFav  MemberQ30
Rep(+Ind lean Rep)   44%    81%    14%    74%
Dem(+Ind lean Dem)   43      9     74     16
Independent           7      4      5      5
Other                 4      4      4      5
DK/NA                 2      -      2      -
 
 
50d. GENDER
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
Men                  47%    44%    43%    54%    52%    52%    45%
Women                53     56     57     46     48     48     55
 
 
50e. (If voted 2008) Did you vote for Barack Obama, or John McCain, or someone else?
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
Obama (Democrat)     49%     7%    93%    42%    10%    86%    15%
McCain (Republican)  44     89      6     46     84     10     77
Someone else          4      2      1      6      4      2      5
DIDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 3      1      -      7      2      2      3
 
 
50f. RACE
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
White (non-hisp)     76%    93%    58%    78%    90%    73%    88%
Black (non-hisp)     11      2     27      6      2     13      6
Other (non-hisp)      5      2      5      8      3      7      2
Hispanic(all races)   7      3     10      8      6      6      4
 
 
50g. AGE
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
18-34                26%    23%    27%    26%    17%    25%    21%
35-49                22     27     20     21     25     20     20
50-64                27     26     29     28     31     29     31
65+                  20     20     21     19     21     22     24
DK/NA                 4      5      3      5      6      4      4
 
 
50h. EDUCATION
                                                 TEA PARTY..............
                                                 OPINION Q18.  Part of
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Fav    UnFav  MovementQ30
Less than HS grad    11%     8%    16%     9%    10%     7%    17%
HS grad and sm coll  61     63     58     63     60     54     61
Coll grad, Bachelor
 or more             28     29     26     29     30     40     22