29% Say Tea Party Members Are Terrorists, 55% Disagree Link: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/pub..._tea_party_members_are_terrorists_55_disagree Monday, August 08, 2011 Email to a Friend ShareThis.Advertisement Several prominent Democrats and their media friends have charged the Tea Party with being economic terrorists during the congressional budget debates, but most voters don’t see it that way. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Likely U.S. Voters, in fact, say members of the Tea Party are not economic terrorists. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 29% believe Tea Party members have been terrorists during the budget debates, while another 16% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) Perhaps tellingly, while 53% of Democrats view Tea Party members as terrorists, 57% of voters not affiliated with either major party disagree, as do 74% of Republicans. Still, a plurality (43%) of all voters think the Tea Party has made things worse of the country in the budget debates in Congress. Thirty-two percent (32%) say the Tea Party has made things better for America, and 14% say it’s had no impact. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided. Again, there’s a noticeable partisan divide: 53% of Republicans believe the Tea Party has made things better, while 73% of Democrats feel it has made things worse. Unaffiliated voters are evenly divided with 37% saying the Tea Party made things better and 37% worse. Just 34% of all voters in separate polling favored tax hikes as part of the deal to raise the debt ceiling. Fifty-five percent (55%) opposed including tax increases of any kind in the deal. (Want a free daily e-mail update ? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 5-6, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. The Tea Party’s critics have focused on the group’s refusal to tolerate tax increase during the recent congressional negotiations over raising the federal debt ceiling. President Obama and prominent Democrats have called for tax hikes on higher-income Americans as part of a balanced approach to cutting the federal debt, as opposed to nothing but spending cuts which most Republicans and Tea Party members advocate. Most voters disapprove of the debt ceiling agreement reached by the president and Congress and doubt it will actually reduce government spending. Voters now are almost evenly divided over whether they would vote for a congressional candidate in the next election who would reduce the federal debt with spending cuts only or opt for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Among those who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, 92% feel they are not economic terrorists, and 76% think they’ve made things better for the country in terms of the budget debate. Those who are not members of the movement are narrowly divided over the terrorist question, and 58% of this group think the Tea Party has made things worse for the country. There’s a sharp difference of opinion between the Political Class and Mainstream voters over the impact of the Tea Party. Eighty-five percent (85%) of the Political Class feel the Tea Party has made things worse for the country in terms of the budget debate. Mainstream voters by a 40% to 33% margin tend to think the Tea Party has made things better. But then 60% of those in the Mainstream don’t see members of the Tea Party as economic terrorists. The Political Class is almost evenly divided on the question. Voters feel more strongly than ever that decreasing government spending is good for the economy and think tax increases of any kind are bad economic medicine. The president and Congress agreed to cut a trillion dollars in federal spending over the next decade as part of the recently concluded debt ceiling deal, but most voters doubt that will actually happen. As part of the deal, a special congressional committee will be named to find another $1.5 trillion in cuts to recommend to the full Congress by the end of the year. If the committee fails to agree on enough spending cuts to recommend, automatic across-the-board cuts will kick in, but just 29% favor cuts of that nature. At the beginning of the year, 31% of voters viewed being a “Tea Party” candidate as a positive, while 32% felt it was a negative political label. Thirty-three percent (33%) put it somewhere in between. Still, it was seen more positively than being called “a liberal” or “a progressive.” “Conservative” remains the most popular political label. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Likely Republican Primary Voters say they are members of the Tea Party. Forty-three percent (43%) say they are not members, but another 17% are not sure. Additional information from this survey and a full demogtraphic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only. Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook . Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news. ShareThis Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information. We poll on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, business and lifestyle, updating our site’s content on a news cycle throughout the day, everyday. Rasmussen Reports Platinum Members get an all-access pass to polling news, analysis and insight not available to the general public. Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here. The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 5-6, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.