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Most Americans Believe the GOP Needs to Listen to the Tea Party, Poll Finds

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About seven in 10 Americans, and an even larger percentage of Republicans, believe it is important that GOP leaders consider ideas put forward by the tea party movement, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Jan. 14-16.

The poll comes as the traditional leadership of the party must adjust to an infusion of tea party-endorsed lawmakers who want to be even more aggressive than some Republicans on issues such as cutting spending and the size of government. They have also started eying Republicans such as Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, whom they want to force from office in 2012.

Tea party lawmakers have also formed their own caucuses in the House and Senate.

Some of the tough decisions and tensions Republicans have already faced include Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann's unsuccessful attempt to get a spot in the GOP leadership and then making her own response to President Obama's State of the Union address -- despite the fact that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan was already giving the official party response, a move that angered some GOP leaders.

Still, 71 percent of all Americans say it is very or somewhat important for tea party ideas to be considered by the GOP, a view held by 88 percent of Republicans. Fifty-three percent of Republicans regard this is as "very" important.

Seventy-two percent of independents say it is very or somewhat important for tea party advocates to be heard, as do 53 percent of Democrats.

However, the tea party movement as a whole is not regarded as favorably by the public as the Republican Party is. While 47 percent see Republicans favorably compared to 43 percent who do not, 42 percent see the tea party movement unfavorably compared to 39 percent who had a positive view. The remainder in each case expressed no opinion.

The Republican favorability figures were in positive territory for the first time since 2005. The overall opinion of the tea party movement has been fairly stable since last April, when it was seen unfavorably by a 42 percent to 39 percent margin with 20 percent expressing no opinion.

Gallup also found that 30 percent of Americans say they are supporters of the tea party movement, 25 percent oppose it and 46 percent are in neither camp or have no opinion.

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354 Comments

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hlcarder

not being forced to buy health insurance is simular to a warrenty on a new car.
when both are young, except for a recall or cronic illness, everything is great
then when the transmission fall out after a few miles and the dealer tells you that you dont have a warrenty and it will cost you 3,500 to fix it. only then do
you see the error of your ways. the same with health care when you fall on your
behind and break a hip and the hospital tells you it will cost 80,000 to fix and
no insurance but you expect me to pay for it...wake up you aint superman and you
will get sick and need health care.

February 04 2011 at 2:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
gladfly256

it all depends on how any question is asked, of course when you use the word somewhat in any poll question you will get an overwelming response on affirmative. heres my prediction on tea party they will have political sucess until the cuts in government is made as cuts set in you will find fractures in party every body wants government to be cut until it cuts part of government they specifically use or want. here is my prediction if the cuts are attempted this will be the begining of the end of tea party. and it will not be a factor in politics by the 2014 ellections

February 02 2011 at 10:07 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
pmbalele

I did no see the focus of the TEA Party and why it was fighting in Washington DC. TEA Party stands for Taxed Enough Already. Well, President Obama cut tax for low and middle income earners under $250,000. As I looked at TEA Party people, none of those angry women and men earned more than $250,000 a year. Still these morons picketed against President Obama. That lost me completely. Second, President Obama passed health care law forcing insurers to accept people with pre-existing conditions-Sarah's daughter has down-syndrome a pre-existing condition unacceptable with insurers; Obama forced insurers to pay benefits of insureds if they stayed long in hospitals, they lost their jobs and therefore unable to pay premiums and if they had kids in colleges. Still these dummies picketed and actually spat at Black lawmakers. Obama passed laws to combat corruption at WallStreet and in Banks. Still these people howled. I got confused as what TEA Partiers were after. My conclusion was that these people were racists encouraged by FoxNews. However, TEA Partiers succeeded as a racist group. Many people they campaigned for, most whom Republicans, won elections. What has happened after the election?. TEA party leaders want a role in crafting Republican agenda. Some TEA Party leaders have applied for jobs with Republicans they supported. Republicans have distanced themselves. Now there is a war between Republicans and TEA Party leaders. Republicans, led by Cry-Baby Boehner and McConnell, don't want to involve TEA Partiers. You saw that after President Obama State of the Union. Republicans gave their response and TEA Party officials gave her version. There is a war between GOP and TEA Partiers. But I see TEA Partiers have lost everything. I warned them before the elections. I told them to be careful with Republicans. They did not listen to me. Now they are in black-hole-they cannot get out. I have one suggestion for TEA Partiers-Wake up and JOIN TEAMOBAMA. You will be saved.

February 02 2011 at 2:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dc walker

The constitution lives. The FEDERAL government cannot tell you to buy health insurance, snowblowers, broccoli or other stuff you don't want. If the states want to change health care in their state or the insurance companies that come into their state is one thing for the FEDERAL government to force you to buy anything even TEA is unconstitutional. Freedom lives.

February 01 2011 at 1:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dc walker's comment
gladfly256

where ever you live when the next natural disaster happens in your state i hopr the federal government tells your state to take care of it yourselves i bet you will lead the complaints about where is the help nfrom federal government. i find most of the strong preachers of state rights come from welfare states. that is states that recieve more in support from federal government than they pay in taxes my favorite is alaska. every time i here mrs palin talk HOW SELF SUFFICIENT THE HAVE BECOME WITH OIL REVENUE I LAUGH THE STATE POLITICIANS GIVE EVERY RESIDENT A CHECK, WHEN THEY RECIEVE 8 FEDERAL DOLLARS FOR EVERY ONE THEY PAY IN TAXES HOW ABOUT SENDIN G THOSE CHECKS BACK SO THE REST OF THE STATES DONT HAVE TO SUPPRT ALASKA
,

February 02 2011 at 10:20 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
KWA1000

As usual, what should have been the headline and lead paragraph in this story
is instead relegated to the very last sentence. The real headline here is that
71% of those surveyed are either agains the Tea Party or are in neither camp or have no opinion. That number would be even higher if people realized that the
seed money for the tea party came from the reactionary Koch brothers and channeled through front groups like the so-called Americans For Prosperity.
Yet another salient point is what's going to happen when the tea party rank and file, mostly average folks, realize they been duped by the Establishment,
just like the so-called religious right figured out much too late that they had
been exploited by the Bush administration.

February 01 2011 at 1:17 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
KWA1000

As usual, what should have been the headline and lead paragraph in this story
is instead relegated to the very last sentence. The real headline here is that
71% of those surveyed are either agains the Tea Party or are in neither camp or have no opinion. That number would be even higher if people realized that the
seed money for the tea party came from the reactionary Koch brothers and channeled through front groups like the so-called Americans For Prosperity.
Yet another salient point is what's going to happen when the tea party rank and file, mostly average folks, realize they been duped by the Establishment,
just like the so-called religious right figured out much too late that they had
been exploited by the Bush administration.

February 01 2011 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hello

Yes, If the Republican Party does not give in to or pander to the Tea Party, it may cease to exist. The Republican politicians deemed "Unconstitutional" -reminds me of the term Counter-revolutionary- will be expelled from the party and then we'll have more than two parties controlling our government. If the Tea party finally becomes a majority party, then we'll have no taxes and no government at all! A return to the Wild West, at last. Hurrah!

February 01 2011 at 12:28 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
yeat2009

First off, credit where credit is due. The Tea Party came out of thin air via local GOP voters who felt betrayed by their elected leaders - Democrats and Republicans. I saw a good man who was an unknown state senator here in Massachusetts suddenly with crowds from nowhere enthusiastically supporting him while Tea Party members in my town hall made their presence and opinions well known. The exact opposite of cancerous political apathy. Senator Brown, a good, intelligent man I personally met before Kennedy's death at a Mill Pond Tea Party rally) was easily elected to complete the late Senator Ted Kennedy's US Senate term. A year later they they had grown to a force recognized on the national and local scene as they swept a wave of GOP candidates with conservative views into office in 2010 (Except in Massachusetts where not one statewide or federal position was won by GOP candidates. Zero.) They deserve to be honored for that achievement. With power, however, comes responsibility. As the people of Egypt will quickly learn once they overthrow their president (tyrant?) of 30 years. So where are their plans for job creation, deficit reduction, seeing all Americans have health care, a foreign policy of quick and long term successes, immigration reform, alternative energy and on and on? Quite frankly, they have none except to eliminate every last Democrat and Liberal Independent voter. I sincerely hope the Tea Party GOP can show me answers to all these concerns via pragmatic legislation and be able to get it passed into law with positive outcomes. But till that date, they asked for the chance to be in a position of power after all, I withhold my judgment of them and what their true agenda really is.

Robert Schledwitz

Newburyport, MA

February 01 2011 at 9:48 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
angeldolllogic

I believe we'd be better served if the LIBERALS listened to the Tea Party!

January 31 2011 at 9:34 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
kaysijade7

Love us or hate us, we are a force to be reckoned with. (See Nov. 2) And those in Washington who STILL don't get it? Your next. You know who we are. Our framers called us, "We the People."

January 31 2011 at 9:18 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

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