Fifty-two per cent of all Tea Party supporters are born-again evangelical Christians, according to a post-midterm election survey in the USA. conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the right-wing Faith and Freedom Coalition.
The survey found that the largest single constituency in the electorate in the 2010 US midterm elections was self-identified evangelicals, who comprised 29 per cent of the vote and cast 78 per cent of their ballots for Republican candidates.
The turnout by conservative people of faith represented a 5five per cent increase in evangelical turnout over 2006 - enough to eliminate Democratic gains in that year - and was the largest ever recorded in a midterm election, the Coalition claims.
Because the evangelical vote is concentrated in the South and the Midwest, these voters had an exaggerated impact on yesterday's GOP gains, contributing to the majority of US Senate and House victories by Republican candidates, the Coalition says.
The finding that 52 per cent of all self-identified members of the Tea Party movement are conservative evangelicals appears to be consistent with polling data gathered by other organisations before Election Day.
Evangelicals were joined by frequent-church-attending Roman Catholic voters, who constituted 12 per cent of the vote and cast 58 per cent of their ballots for Republican candidates, as opposed to 40 per cent of their ballots for Democrats, according to CNN exit polling.
"This survey, along with numerous exit polls, makes clear that those who ignore or disregard social conservative voters and their issues do so at their own peril" said Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition and founder and chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
The Faith and Freedom Coalition made a total of 58.8 million voter contacts to social and fiscal conservative voters in 2010, including 16 million voter guides, 8 million pieces of mail, and 15 million GOTV calls. FFC has 400,000 members and supporters and has chapters operating in 24 states.