Poll finds tea party numbers up, public opinion down

The number of people who say they are part of the tea party movement or know someone who is appears to be increasing, according to a Rasmussen poll released today.

The poll found that 1-in-4 U.S. voters say “they consider themselves part of the tea party movement or have close friends or family members who are involved with it.” However, the poll showed that increased familiarity leads to a lower opinion of the movement.

The telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters found that 13 percent of voters said that they were actively involved in the tea party movement, while 13 percent more said that they had close friends and relations in the tea party movement.

While 60 percent of likely voters said they have no ties to the predominantly conservative movement, that number is down 9 percentage points from a similar poll conducted in May by Rasmussen.

Still despite the increases in participation, the favorability rating for the tea party has gone down. In April of last year, 51 percent of Americans said that the tea party movement was good for America. However, the recent poll shows that number has decreased to 43 percent, with 36 percent of those polled viewing the movement unfavorably. The remaining 21 percent are undecided.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.

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