Tea Party support strong in 4th CD

Following up on polls released Wednesday, polling company Penn Schoen Berland and The Hill newspaper released more data today relating to Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District.

Today’s results have primarily to do with Tea Party support and voters’ views of congressional ethics.

Voters in the 4th CD, which pits Republican challenger Cory Gardner against first-term incumbent Democrat Betsy Markey, favor Gardner overall 44-41 percent. Forty-three percent of likely voters surveyed in the district say they have a favorable view of the Tea Party, with 34 percent viewing the Tea Party unfavorably. Those results are virtually identical to results in the 12 swing districts covered in the poll.

Republicans in the 4th District view the Tea Party favorably by 70-11 margin, while Democrats view it unfavorably by the same margin. Independents are split right down the middle with 36 percent supporting the Tea Party and 37 percent viewing it unfavorably. Men and women both see the Tea Party favorably — men by an 18-point margin and women by three points. All age groups in the district viewed the Tea Party favorably.

Interestingly though, Tea Party support may cost a candidate votes in the district, as only 18 percent said Tea Party support of a candidate would make them more likely to support that candidate while 22 percent said it would make them less likely. On that question, 53 percent said it would make no difference.

Asked whether the “ethical situation” in Congress has improved in the last two years, 59 percent of likely voters said it had gotten worse, with only five percent saying it had gotten better. Of Republicans, 83 percent said the ethical situation was worse, whereas 53 percent of Democrats said it was about the same. Independents mirrored the overall numbers. The only anomaly on this question was that only 28 percent of those 17-34 believed the ethics of Congress had gotten worse in the last two years.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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