Friday, August 19, 2011

Poll Watch: Rasmussen (TP) 2012 Tea Party/GOP Primary Survey

Rasmussen (TP) 2012 Tea Party/GOP Primary Survey

Suppose your favorite candidate does not win the nomination. When the general election is held, would you be most likely to vote for the Republican candidate, President Barack Obama, or a third party candidate?
  • Republican candidate 77%
  • President Barack Obama 10%
  • Third party candidate 9%
In terms of how you vote in the Republican Primary for President which is more important, a candidate who shares your views or a candidate who has a better chance of winning?
  • Candidate who shares your views 72%
  • Candidate who has better chance of winning 22%
Generally speaking, when thinking about election 2012, will the Tea Party help or hurt the Republican Party?
  • Help 58%
  • Hurt 22%
  • No impact 8%
  • Not sure 12%
Survey of 1,000 likely GOP primary voters was conducted August 15, 2011. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.

Inside the numbers:
While many Democrats, journalists, and establishment Republicans have been critical of the Tea Party, most Republicans think the grass roots smaller government movement will be a plus for their party in next year’s presidential race.

Interestingly, those outside the Tea Party are more committed to finding a candidate who shares their views--67% of Tea Party members take that approach compared to 75% of non-members. That data contradicts a common story line that Tea Party members are interested in ideological purity while others are more practical in their considerations.

Seventy percent (70%) of all primary voters continue to agree with Mitt Romney’s assertion at a debate in June that any one of the Republican candidates would make a better president that Obama. Twenty percent (20%) disagree.

Tea Party members are far more likely to agree with Romney than non-members are – by a 91% to 62% margin.

Again, those in the Tea Party are more committed to the GOP field than other primary voters. Ninety-one percent (91%) of Tea Party members now plan to vote for the eventual GOP candidate even if their first choice isn’t the nominee, compared to 71% of non-members.

Fourteen percent (14%) of potential Republican primary voters approve of the job Obama is doing; 84% disapprove. Among Tea Party members, 96% disapprove.

Several prominent Democrats charged the Tea Party with being economic terrorists during the recent congressional debate over the debt ceiling, but 55% of Likely U.S. Voters disagree.

More voters still think the average Tea Party member has a better handle on America’s problems than the average member of Congress does, but there’s a sharp difference of opinion between Democrats and Republicans.

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