Mason-Dixon poll: Idaho top in Tea Party popularity

Idaho StatesmanMay 24, 2010 

A new poll says 63 percent of likely Republican primary voters in Idaho "generally support the agenda of the tea party movement," and one in six call themselves members.

The finding in the nation's most Republican state comes from an Idaho Statesman/KBOI-TV Channel 2 poll conducted May 17-19 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research in Washington, D.C.

A national ABC/Washington Post poll in late April found 27 percent support the tea party movement. The same poll asked respondents of all political parties if they were "active" in the movement, and just 2 percent said yes. The Statesman/KBOI-TV poll asked a different question of Idaho Republicans, "Do you consider yourself a member of the tea party?" and 16 percent said yes.

Tea Party Boise founder Brendan Smythe said the overall result doesn't surprise him. He is impressed with the scale of the movement's popularity among GOP voters. "I would just say it's a conservative state."

But Smythe said he wants more people to feel comfortable joining up. He suggested the movement will move past its showy marches with colorful costumes and provocative signs.

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