Tea Party people dominate GOP primaries, says Pew

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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Tea Party members dominate GOP primary elections, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

The survey suggested that 86 percent of of Tea Party members always or nearly always vote in GOP primary elections.

Only 67 percent of the non-Tea Party GOP supporters vote in primaries, said the Pew poll.

That high turnout ensures they make up almost half, 49 percent, of the GOP primary electorate.

“Non-Tea Party Republicans make up 60% of Republicans and Republican leaners overall, but because they are less likely to vote in primary elections, they compose a far smaller percentage of GOP voters who say they ‘always’ vote in primary elections (48%),” said a statement from Alec Tyson, a researcher at the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

That’s a problem for GOP legislators who feel under pressure from Democrat-affiliated advocacy groups and business groups now pushing for a major influx of new immigrant workers Numerous Tea Party groups are protesting the proposed influx, and there’s evidence the protest are already impacting the 2016 race for the presidency.

For example, Sen. Marco Rubio’s poll numbers took a dip after he allied with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer to push through a far-reaching immigration rewrite.

A New Hampshire poll showed Rubio’s support among Granite State GOP primary voters falling from 15 percent in April to 6 percent in August, dropping him behind four other candidates.

A late-July poll of many GOP registered voters by Public Policy Polling showed Rubio at only 10 percent support among GOP primary voters, far behind Sen. Rand Paul’s 16 percent rating.

“The trend in the Republican primary field is pretty clear,” said a July 25 statement by Dean Debnam, PPP’s president. “Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are up and Marco Rubio is down.”

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