Nearly half of Americans (47 percent) who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement say they are also part of the Christian conservative or religious right movement.

Nearly half of Americans (47 percent) who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement say they are also part of the Christian conservative or religious right movement.


According to the new American Values Survey released by the Public Religion Research Institute, on many important political and social issues, Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement also hold views that are similar to the views of those who identify with the Christian conservative movement.


The national survey asked Americans about their views on a range of economic, social and religious issues and the upcoming elections.


"PRRI's American Values Survey found significant overlap between the Tea Party and the Christian conservative movement," said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. "Our findings challenge, more than they confirm, the conventional wisdom about the religious makeup and attitudes of Americans who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement."


Other key findings from the survey:




Compared to the general population, Tea Party members are more likely to be non-Hispanic white, are more supportive of small government, are overwhelmingly supportive of Sarah Palin and are much more likely to report that Fox News is their most trusted source of news for politics and current events.

Among the 81 percent of Tea Party members who identify as Christian, 57 percent also consider themselves part of the Christian conservative movement.

Tea Party members make up 11 percent of the adult population, which is half the size of the conservative Christian movement (22 percent).

Tea Party members are mostly social conservatives. Nearly 63 percent say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, and less than 18 percent support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Tea Party members are largely Republican partisans. More than three-fourths say they identify with (48 percent) or lean towards (28 percent) the Republican Party. More than 83 percent say they are voting for or leaning towards Republican candidates in their districts, and nearly 74 percent of this group report usually supporting Republican candidates.

The American Values Survey is a national representative public opinion survey of American attitudes on religion, values and politics. The 2010 poll is the third biennial AVS, which is conducted by PRRI every two years as the national election season gets underway.


Results of the 2010 AVS are based on telephone interviews conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute among a national random sample of 3,013 adults (age 18 and older) between Sept. 1 and Sept. 14, 2010.