Has the Tea Party lost some steam in South Carolina? The latest Winthrop Poll results suggest so as the poll of 929 respondents living in the Palmetto State shows that among registered voters polled, 90.8 percent said they were not members of the Tea Party.
Winthrop Poll Director Scott Huffmon says while the drop off is significant compared to 2010, that does not mean that voters who normally vote Republican have abandoned the Tea Party altogether.
“There’s about a two-thirds dropoff from 2010, and the number of Republicans who are saying I’m a member of the Tea Party. Now that doesn’t mean that their sentiments still don’t lie with the Tea Party, and that their beliefs and ideologies don’t still lie with the Tea Party. But fewer folks are willing to call themselves members,” Huffmon says.
The Tea Party movement in South Carolina has been given significant credit in getting four freshmen GOP congressman elected during the midterm elections of 2010, including Mick Mulvaney unseating 28-year veteran 5th District Democratic Congressman John Spratt.
Huffmon says“If the Tea Party is going to be a force in South Carolina in 2014 the same way it was in 2010, the Tea Party is going to have to re-galvanize and re-excite its base.”
As for Democratic voters, the numbers show an interesting split. Huffmon says that may be surprising to some, however when you take into account the general population there are still more people who lean to the Democratic Party than the GOP.
Huffmon says the results show that politically in South Carolina there is an interesting dichotomy in the state electorate composed of people who actually vote and those who do not
Huffmon says a more definitive snapshot may be gleaned from looking at the president’s disapproval ratings: “Among all South Carolinians his (Obama’s) disapproval rating is only 41.2 percent, but his disapproval among those who actually voted in the last election, 51.9 percent. We are one of those states where the people actually turn out and vote can in many ways look very different from the general population.”
The poll shows that more than three-in-four of all respondents disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job, a reflection of the Congressional current battle over how to fix the U.S. economy.
The Winthrop Poll survey was taken from November 25 through December 2.Poll results which use all respondents have a margin of error of approximately+/- 3.5 percent.