Poll: Tea partiers diverge sharply from majority on some issues

According to an Associated Press-GfK Poll this month, 84 percent who call themselves tea party supporters don’t like how President Obama is handling his job a view shared by just 35 percent of all other adults. Tea partiers are about four times likelier than others to back repealing Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul and twice as likely to favor renewing tax cuts for the highest-earning Americans.

Exit polls of voters in this month’s congressional elections reveal similar gulfs. Most tea party supporters 86 percent want less government intrusion on people and businesses, but only 35 percent of other voters said so. Tea party backers were about five times likelier to blame Mr. Obama for the country’s economic ills, three times likelier to say Mr. Obama’s policies will be harmful and twice as apt to see the country on the wrong track…

One certainty: There are too many tea party supporters for politicians to ignore, especially for Republicans. About 3 in 10 adults in the AP-GfK Poll call themselves tea party backers, including 60 percent of Republicans. In the exit poll in this month’s election, which saw high conservative turnout, 4 in 10 voiced tea party support, and 2 of every 3 GOP votes came from them.

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