Most Americans (77%) have heard at least a little about the Tea Party movement, but a plurality give a negative description of the anti-government political group that has held several protests during the Obama administration. The Tea Party movement, however, does have its strong supporters. When Americans were asked what one word describes their impression of the Tea Party movement, the most frequently offered responses were “great,” “interesting” and “patriotic.” Overall, however, only a third (34%) of the one-word descriptions offered were positive. A plurality (44%) provided a negative word to describe the Tea Party movement. Among the most common were “ridiculous,” “misinformed” or “uninformed,” “radical” and “stupid.” A quarter of the one-word descriptions were neutral. Republicans (53%) were far more likely to give a positive description of the Tea Party movement than were Democrats (34%). Among political independents, about a third (34%) gave a positive word about the Tea Party movement while 42% supplied a negative description of the group. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.