Confirmation by Gallup

It is important to see what other views and facts exist when studying a topic. I am currently compiling other Tea Party research to add as extra legitimization to our research and survey results, so I decided to look at polling agencies’ TP questions. I first went to Gallup’s website to look at the overlap between Tea Party supporters and Republicans, a relationship that I have studied this summer. Gallup found that 8 out of every 10 TP supporters are Republicans compared with 44% of all adults, which is a similar result to my research (within 5%).

I also looked at where TP supporters come from within the Republican base, and this same Gallup study did so as well. Gallup found that TP is “more a rebranding of core Republicanism than a new or distinct entity on the American political scene” due to their similar ideologies. From our survey, I found that TP supporters are more likely to be Very Conservatives versus Conservative, but Gallup also compared Conservative Republicans to Liberal Republicans. This will be an interesting addition to our research because it is completely new, but relevant information. It is likely a question we will include on our next survey. Gallup found that “Conservative Republicans outnumber moderate/liberal Republicans in the general population by about a 2-to-1 margin; among Tea Party supporters, the ratio is well more than 3 to 1.”

By investigating a survey and poll results that were not ours, we were not only confirmed in our studies, but also we decided to add more questions, similar to Gallup’s, to our next survey in order to get additional TP information. As I compile more outside information, I will hopefully have similar results in both confirmation and future help.


  1. Very interesting Meredith! Do you have any election predictions based on your research and current events this summer? How do you think the Tea Party will factor in? Could it split the Republican vote and cause a conservative candidate to lose the election? Thanks!

  2. Meredith Dost says:

    Thanks for your interest, Lindsay! After my research this summer and Professor Rapoport’s (Government Department at W&M) research on third parties and elections, I would say that there is a high possibility that the Tea Party will split the Republican vote. If a Tea Party candidate wins the Republican presidential nomination, I would predict that the Republican vote would be more split than if a non-Tea Party Republican candidate wins the nomination. For me, the most interesting aspect of the Tea Party is that it is a movement within the Republican party as opposed to an unaffiliated third party, which is why I predict that with a Tea Party Republican presidential candidate, the Republican vote would be more split. However, for congressional candidates in states such as Iowa and South Carolina where the Tea Party has had huge influences, I believe that the Tea Party affiliation could be a unifying factor for Republicans, winning more non-Tea Party supporter votes than in other states. As the Tea Party becomes less and less popular (even by Republicans), it will be very interesting to see the drop-off of support for Tea Party candidates. I think that if Tea Party support continues to dwindle, the Republican vote will be split less in the 2012 elections.