Tea Party Movement as Large as Nation’s Entire Liberal Population, Say Gallup Polls

By Terence P. Jeffrey | August 5, 2011 | 1:18 PM EDT

Tea Party activist Lawrence Crane secures a large U.S. flag while preparing for a Tea Party rally to be held at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, April 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

(CNSNews.com) - The percentage of Americans who expressly state that they are supporters of the Tea Party movement is currently about as large at 22 percent of the population as the 21 percent who say they are liberals, according to recent but separate Gallup polls.

Meanwhile, at 41 percent of the population, according to Gallup, self-described conservatives outnumber both Tea Party movement supporters and liberals by nearly 2-to-1.

In separate polls done on July 27 and August 2, 23 and 22 percent of respondents told Gallup they considered themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement. These polls (each of which was conducted in one day) had a margin of error of +/-4 points, and Gallup warned that polls conducted in one day “are subject to additional error or bias not found in polls conducted over several days.”

In fact, the July 27 and August 2 polls showed a considerably smaller percentage of Americans saying they were Tea Party supporters than previous Gallup polls conducted over three- and four-day periods.

For example, a Gallup survey conducted April 20-23 of this year, found that 30 percent of Americans described themselves as Tea Party supporters. Similarly, a Gallup poll conducted Jan. 14-16 of this year also found that 30 percent of Americans described themselves as Tea Party supporters.

In previous Gallup polling, Tea Party support had hit a low of 26 percent in a series of polls conducted in October 2010—immediately before the midterm congressional elections—and peaked at 36 percent on Nov. 4-7, 2010—immediately after the midterm congressional elections.

In polling conducted through the first half of 2011, and published Aug. 1, Gallup discovered that 21 percent of Americans described themselves as liberals. That is the same percentage that described themselves as liberals in Gallup surveys in 2010 and 2009.

Also in polling conducted over the first half of 2011, 41 percent of Americans told Gallup they were conservatives. That is up from the 40 percent who told Gallup they were conservatives in 2009 and 2010.