In a Winthrop University poll released on Tuesday, just five percent of South Carolinians consider themselves a member of the tea party. More surprisingly, just 11 percent of state Republicans and independent voters who lean Republican consider themselves part of the movement.
A year ago, over 28 percent of Republican voters and independent-leaning Republicans identified themselves as part of the tea party.
“I’m not surprised,” said Allen Olson, founder of the Columbia TEA Party. “We’ve pretty much been maligned. We’ve been attached to the libertarian faction, so-to-speak, and they’ve been trying to use the tea party to push their agenda.”