Poll Context: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has effectively split the conservative Tea Party movement, as his fiery campaign draws in followers of the group who had been expected to line up behind Ted Cruz, a more consistent champion of small government. Recent polls have shown Trump performing well among voters who identified as Tea Party supporters.
“Trump has tapped into Tea Party emotions, gaining the support of many of the most hacked off and motivated voters out there,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “It was a brilliant move.”
Ned Ryun, founder of American Majority, a group that trains conservative grassroots activists, said Trump’s outsider persona is key to his appeal to Tea Party activists.
“Cruz people feel they can work within the status quo,” said Ryun. “Trump people say screw the status quo, we’re sick of it.”
Trump says that his support is now a movement which has long been how many supporters view The Tea Party. So which movement is the stronger?