Unsurprising Poll: Tea Party Dividing GOP Down the Middle

It's been evident in congress and in debates, but it's true among the electorate too: the Tea Party has split the GOP almost entirely down the middle with half in the somewhat sane camp and half in the Tea Party camp.

From CNN's new poll:

According to the survey, roughly half (49 percent) of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say they support the tea party movement or are active members, with roughly half (51 percent) saying that they have no feelings one way or another about the tea party or that they oppose the movement.

The poll indicates that demographically, tea party Republicans are more likely to be male, older, and college educated, with non-tea party Republicans more likely to be younger, less educated, female, and less likely to say they are born-again or evangelical. Both groups are predominantly white.

Nearly eight in ten tea party Republicans describe themselves as conservatives, with nearly half of non-tea party Republicans call themselves moderate, or in a few cases, liberal. But the differences are also a matter of temperament: 50 percent of tea party Republicans say they are "very angry" about the way things are going in the country today, compared to just 29 percent of their Republican counterparts.

This certainly confirms the progressive analysis of the Tea Party, which is that it's another name for the extreme right wing of the party.

The problem is that this "re-branding" of the wing has taken the media by surprise. As poll after poll shows the truth--that this is nothing new--will coverage finally follow suit?

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at September 15, 2011, 7:13am