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Poll: 1 in 10 say they're Tea Party activists

By the CNN Wire Staff
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The Tea Party strategy
  • One of 10 people asked in recent CNN poll consider themselves Tea Party activists
  • Yet, 45 percent of respondents say they don't know enough about Tea Party to have opinion
  • Tea Party activists scheduled to hold rallies nationwide on Thursday

Washington (CNN) -- Ten percent of Americans say they have actively supported the Tea Party movement, and those Tea Party activists are older, better educated and more religious than the general public, according to a new national poll.

Of the Tea Party activists questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday morning, seven of 10 call themselves conservatives.

Nearly eight in 10 would vote for a Republican candidate for Congress if the midterm elections were held today. Six in 10 Tea Party activists are male.

However, the Tea Party movement, now in its 14th month, is not well known to nearly half the country. Forty-five percent of all Americans say they do not know enough about the Tea Party to say whether they support it or oppose it.

Those who are familiar with the movement are divided right down the middle -- 27 percent support the Tea Party movement, and 27 percent oppose it.

One out of every 10 people says they have donated money, attended a rally, or taken some other active step to support the Tea Party movement.

The poll indicates that 60 percent of this core group of Tea Party activists are male, six in 10 are over the age of 50, two-thirds attended college, and half say they attend church services weekly or almost every week.

By comparison, 48 percent of all Americans are male, 45 percent are age 50 or older, 54 percent attended college, and four in 10 go to church every week or nearly every week.

Tea Party activists, known for their vocal opposition to government spending and taxes, are set to hold rallies in the nation's capital and across the country on Thursday -- the day federal tax returns are due.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll was conducted April 9-11, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.