According to the survey, roughly 11 percent of all Americans say they have actively supported the Tea Party movement, either by donating money, attending a rally, or taking some other active step to support the movement. Of this core group of Tea Party activists, 6 of 10 are male and half live in rural areas.
Nearly three quarters of Tea Party activists attended college, compared to 54 percent of all Americans, and more than three in four call themselves conservatives.
“Keep in mind that this is a pretty small sample of Tea Party activists,” notes Holland. “But even taking that into account, the demographic gaps that the poll finds between those activists and the general public on gender, education, income, ideology, and voting behavior appear to be significant differences.”
The poll indicates that about 24 percent of the public generally favors the Tea Party movement but has not taken any actions such as donating money or attending a rally. Adding in the 11 percent who say they are active, a total of 35 percent could be described as Tea Party supporters. That larger group is also predominantly male, higher-income, and conservative.
Some 45 percent of all Americans say they don’t know enough about the Tea Party to have a view of the movement; one in five say they oppose the Tea Party.
According to the survey, most Tea Party activists describe themselves as Independents.
The full report can be downloaded from the CNN site.