The Tea Party has been criticized by many since the debt ceiling fiasco, but Republican primary voters believe that they will be beneficial to the 2012 elections when everything is said and done. A new poll by Rasmussen Reports on Friday says that 58% say that the movement will help the Republican candidates next year.
22% of those polled believe that it will hurt the party, according the nationwide poll that asked 1,000 likely primary voters their opinion on Monday.
The grassroots movement has been championed by many of the current field of Republican hopefuls, such as Rick Perry, Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann. Rick Perry, in particular, has been touted by many as being able to reach out to both the Tea Party portion of the Republican party as well as mainstream Republicans.
72% of those polled believe they’d rather have a candidate who “shares their values” rather than one who doesn’t have a good shot of winning the presidency in 2012. 22% say they’d rather have a Republican nominee that is able to defeat President Obama rather than having that candidate share much of their values.