Tea Party crashes, just 8 percent are members

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Tea Party

The Tea Party has gone dry.

Once the talk of the nation and a well-supported positive force in politics, membership has dropped as has their approval rating, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll.

Rasmussen found:

-- Just 8 percent of likely voters say they are Tea Party members, down from 24 percent in 2010.

-- Some 30 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party, down from 51 perent in 2009.

-- 56 percent said it has become less influential.

From Rasmussen:

Views of the Tea Party movement are at their lowest point ever, with voters for the first time evenly divided when asked to match the views of the average Tea Party member against those of the average member of Congress. Only eight percent (8%) now say they are members of the Tea Party, down from a high of 24% in April 2010 just after passage of the national health care law.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 30% of Likely U.S. Voters now have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party. Half (49%) of voters have an unfavorable view of the movement. Twenty-one percent (21%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In April 2009 when the Tea Party protests against President Obama's spending policies first erupted, 51% of Americans held a favorable opinion of the movement. However, just 35% felt that way by last July.

Only 34% of voters now believe the Tea Party movement is good for the country, down from 49% in April 2011. Slightly more (40%) think the Tea Party is bad for the country, while 17% say neither.

A majority (56%) of voters agrees that the Tea Party movement has become less influential over the past year. Just 21% feel it has become more influential, although even more (23%) are not sure.