Poll: Tea party less popular than Muslims, atheists

Being a tea party member is no cup of tea.

According to a recent New York Times/CBS survey, tea party members are less popular than atheists, Muslims, Republicans, Democrats, and 21 other groups. The movement has lost 20 percent of its supporters and gained 40 percent more opponents, according to the poll. Another NYT/CBS poll published earlier this month revealed that the tea party’s unfavorable rating had increased 29 percent since April.

According to the Times, the tea party is catching up to the Christian Right’s low popularity. Times writers David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam present possible justifications for this, stating that the tea party’s mixing of politics and religion simply doesn’t appeal to the majority of Americans. Citing Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s “lengthy prayers at campaign stops,” the story claims pro-tea party folks are becoming “increasingly out of step with most Americans, even many Republicans.”

“Yet it is precisely this infusion of religion into politics that most Americans increasingly oppose,” the authors wrote. “While over the last five years Americans have become slightly more conservative economically, they have swung even further in opposition to mingling religion and politics. It thus makes sense that the Tea Party ranks alongside the Christian Right in unpopularity.”

Follow Laura on Twitter