Americans’ support for the Tea Party has dropped to its lowest level since the movement emerged on the national political scene prior to the 2010 midterm elections. Seventeen percent of Americans now consider themselves Tea Party supporters, and a record 54% say they are neither supporters nor opponents.
The Tea Party emerged in 2009 in opposition to the fledgling Obama administration, and many Americans took sides for or against the movement in the midterm elections the next year. Support peaked at 32% in November 2010, just after those elections, in which Tea Party supporters were widely credited with helping the Republican Party gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
As support gradually eroded over the next year, opponents of the Tea Party gained the upper hand and have led supporters in all 10 Gallup polls measuring views of the movement since the start of 2012. Since August 2012, support has failed to reach 25%, and it has fallen below 20% in each of the last two polls.
Meanwhile, opposition peaked at 31% just ahead of last year’s midterm elections, but has dropped to 24% in the most recent Gallup poll, conducted Oct. 7-11.