A plurality of Americans support "Tea Party principles," according to a poll released today.
The poll, commissioned by TheTeaParty.net and conducted by NSON, Inc., found that 48 percent of Americans support the principles of "limited government," "free markets," and "personal responsibility."
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The poll also found that 21 percent of Americans support "progressive, liberal principles" of "big government," "higher taxes," and "more spending."
The poll explicitly tied the conservative principles to the Tea Party, said Niger Innis, chief strategist for TheTeaParty.net.
According to the poll, nearly half of people in the Midwest, South, and West expressed support for Tea Party principles, while just over 40 percent of people in the northeast—the country’s "liberal stronghold," said Innis—expressed support.
"The mainstream media wrote our obituary after the November elections. Unfortunately for them, the tea party isn't going anywhere," Todd Cefaratti, founder of TheTeaParty.net, said in a statement.
Innis cited the poll as evidence that conservative leaders need to "embrace the Tea Party principles."
If they do so, he said, "They will win elections."
"I think it’s a wake up call to the establishment," Innis said. He expressed frustration that mainstream Republicans have tried to distance themselves from the Tea Party.
When asked if the poll would change TheTeaParty.net’s strategy in the future, Innis said it would not.
"This poll only reaffirms what we’ve been doing and who we are," Innis said.
However, he did note that the Tea Party has begun establishing a greater presence in Washington, DC.
"If you have problems with what’s going on in D.C., you can critique, but at some point you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and try to solve some of these problems," he said.