The latest Pew Research Center poll is chock full of data revealing an emerging rift between tea party-aligned Republicans and the rest of the party. But if there is one area of relative agreement, it’s this: a belief that tea party is independent from the GOP.
More than half of all Republicans (51 percent) say the the tea party is separate. Only about three in 10 say it is part of the Republican Party. Nearly equal shares of tea party Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (52 percent) and non-tea party Republicans and GOP-leaning independents (55 percent) say the movement is separate from the GOP.
Interestingly, tea party Republicans and GOP leaners increasingly see their movement as part of the GOP. Back in 2011, nearly seven in 10 said it was a separate entity. And now, they are more likely than non-tea party Republicans to say the movement is part of the GOP.