WASHINGTON – The tea party has hit rock bottom in the eyes of the American public, a new CNN/Opinion Research poll found Wednesday.
Just 32 percent of respondents viewed the tea party favorably, while a record-high 47 percent had a negative view of the movement that propelled Republicans to dramatic Congressional victories last November. Fourteen percent had no opinion, and 7 percent said they've never heard of the tea party.
The figures come as dozens of tea party-backed House members threaten to scuttle a budget deal on Capitol Hill, which Democratic and Republican leaders would need to reach in order to prevent a government shutdown at the end of next week.
Tea party groups are poised to rally Thursday outside the U.S. Capitol, demanding that GOP leaders refuse to compromise and instead seek the $100 billion in cuts Republicans promised last year before the election. Neither party has come close to such a figure.
In December, the same CNN poll found that 37 percent viewed the tea party favorably, while 43 percent viewed it unfavorably. The numbers were 37 to 37 percent late last October. Last April, 38 percent percent had a positive take on the movement, while 36 percent saw it negatively.
The CNN/Opinion Research poll surveyed 1,023 adult Americans by telephone between March 11-13. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.