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Elections 2010, Governor General 2010, Illinois Politics

Illinois Elections 2010: Bucking National Trend, Self-Identified Illinois Tea Party Members Surge, Poll Data Says

(Chicago, IL) – October 27, 2010. Despite experiencing slumping support nationally since last spring, the Tea Party movement in Illinois has gained impressive strength, an analysis of polling data has revealed.

According to cross tab data in a March 8, 2010 Rasmussen Reports survey, 13% of Illinois voters identified themselves as members of the Tea Party movement, in contrast with a new survey on October 26 by the pollster which now identifies 22% of Illinois voters as part of the movement—a 75% increase.

Hat tip to Rich Miller at Capitol Fax for flagging the Rasmussen October poll number.

Meanwhile, a Rasmusen October 6-7 national survey revealed the number of self-identified national Tea Partiers stood at 17%, down from 24% in an April 8-11 poll, or a 29% drop. Among voters 18-29, Tea Party identification evaporated, falling from 26% in April to 7% in October, or a 73% fall, according to cross tab data. And the all-important voting group of women has witnessed a 50% dive from 24% in April to 12% in October.

In Illinois, only the precipitous drop among the 18-29 age demographic tracks the national numbers. In the March 8 survey, 21% of Illinois 18-29 voters self-identified as Tea Party members, while only 6% did so in the October 26 poll, a 71.4% drop.

However, Illinois women who claimed Tea Party membership spiked from 10% in March to 18% in October, an 80% increase. Self-identified men increased the protest movement’s ranks from 17% to 26%, a 52.9% jump.

With the exception of the 18-29 voter demographic, Illinois Tea Party adherents rose in all other age groups between the March and October surveys:

  • 30-39 – from 14% to 25%
  • 40-49 – from 6% to 23%
  • 50-64 – from 14% to 22%
  • 65+ – from 14% to 18%

While Illinois is bucking the national tea party downward trend, Illinois GOP governor nominee Bill Brady is putting some distance between himself and the controversial movement anyway in which 63% of Illinois voters–including 35% of Illinois Republicans–claim no Tea Party membership.

The Chicago Tribune‘s Rick Pearson noted in a story two days ago that Brady overlooked Tea Party links in his promotion of a Tea Party rally in suburban Homer Glen today.

Brady’s campaign made no mention of the fact that the Will County Tea Party Alliance is hosting the event. The tea party group and a variety of conservative groups are promoting attendance by saying, “Tea Partiers, Independents, Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians will gather together in Homer Glen to prepare for the final drive to victory.”

Brady has attended events sponsored by tea party movement organizations in the past.

A surging Illinois Tea Party movement spells trouble for Brady rival Governor Pat Quinn and Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias–if they already lacked for trouble.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


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