Tea Partiers Are 'Average' Americans, Just 57% GOP
Movement currently accounts for 17% of voters
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2010 7:28 AM CDT
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, holds up a copy of the Senate health care reform bill as he speaks at Tea Party rally on Capitol Hill, in this March 16, 2010 file photo.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

(Newser) – A pair of new polls poke holes in the conventional image of the tea party as a fringe group of loud Republicans. In a Sunday poll of 1,000 registered voters, 17% identified themselves as “part of the Tea Party movement,” the LA Times reports. Of those, 28% were independents and 17% were Democrats, leaving only 57% identified as GOP.

A Gallup poll meanwhile finds that though the tea partiers are more likely to be employed, conservative men, they are otherwise “quite representative of the public at large,” in terms of race, age, and educational background. Among that group, opinions are fairly uniform; 95% say “Democrats are taxing, spending and borrowing too much,” 87% oppose health care reform, and 80% dislike Obama’s performance—even higher than the 77% among Republicans.