Simon Poll finds Tea Party losing popularity

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - A new Illinois-wide poll shows opposition to the Tea Party movement and its candidates has grown significantly over the past year.

That's according to the results of the fourth annual statewide poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The survey was conducted earlier this month by compiling the opinions of 1,000 registered voters. The poll shows that 25.5 percent either strongly agreed or agreed with the Tea Party movement, which is less than last year's 37.9 percent of those polled who fit in that category.

This year, 42.2 percent either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the Tea Party, compared with last year's 35.3 percent.

"Overall from 40 to 60 percent of the Illinois voters expressed negative evaluations of the Tea Party and its candidates, with 26 percent to 31 percent who supported the Tea Party," said visiting professor John Jackson, one of the co-directors of the poll. "While this demonstrates the polarized climate of opinion regarding the Tea Party, significantly more Illinois voters opposed than supported the Tea Party, and the opposition has increased markedly over the past year."

Pollsters say Illinois voters favor candidates who are willing to compromise accomplish tasks at hand. The majority of voters polled, 51.4 percent, said they were much more likely to vote for a political candidate who is willing to compromise, and another 28.2 percent said they were somewhat more likely.

"The good news in this poll is that voters in Illinois want to see more civility in politics," said David Yepsen, the director of the Institute. "Voters of all types are tired of the bickering and want to see more results."

Tea Party supporters polled were included in the group in favor of compromise. A total of 71.5 percent of the pro-Tea Party respondents said they were much more or somewhat more likely to vote for a candidate who is willing to compromise, leaving 16.3 percent who were somewhat less or much less likely to vote for such a candidate. Those against the Tea Party group came in at 85.9 percent much more or somewhat more likely to vote for a candidate willing to compromise, compared to only 8.8 percent who were less likely to vote for a compromise-oriented candidate.

"It is interesting to note that a total of only 10 percent of Illinois voters regard the willingness to compromise to be a negative quality in their candidates, while almost 80 percent understand that the democratic process cannot function without compromise," Jackson said.

If you'd like to see the poll for yourself, click here.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.