Four in 10 Tea Party members are either Democrats or Independents, according to a new national survey.
The findings provide one of the most detailed portraits to date of the grassroots movement that started last year.
The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democratic, according to three national polls by the Winston Group, a Republican-leaning firm that conducted the surveys on behalf of an education advocacy group. Two-thirds of the group call themselves conservative, 26 are moderate and 8 percent say they are liberal.
The Winston Group conducted three national telephone surveys of 1,000 registered voters between December and February. Of those polled, 17 percent – more than 500 people — said they were “part of the Tea Party movement.”
“It’s a good sample size,” said David Winston, the polling firm’s director. “It will certainly give us an initial base to follow where these folks are.”