Tea party support among Republicans drops, poll finds

Support for the tea party has dropped significantly since the conservative activist movement first began making waves in 2010, according to a new poll from Gallup.

Twenty-two percent of adults identify themselves as supporters of the tea party in this latest survey, down from 32 percent in November 2010, shortly after Republicans rode a wave of tea party energy to claim a strong victory in congressional elections that year.

Among Republicans, 41 percent now describe themselves as tea party supporters, but that figure was 61 percent in 2010. Democrats continue to hold the movement in low regard, with only 7 percent describing themselves as tea party supporters.

Despite their falling popularity among the public at large, Republicans who support the tea party are poised to play a big role in yet another round of midterms: According to Gallup, they've been paying more attention to upcoming congressional elections than other ideological groups.

Forty-three percent of tea party Republicans say they've given quite a lot of thought to the midterm elections, while only 26 percent of other Republicans and 19 percent of non-Republicans say the same. Fifty-two percent of tea party Republicans say they're more enthusiastic about voting this year, but only 35 percent of other republicans and 29 percent of non-Republicans share that enthusiasm.

Gallup's poll surveyed 1,513 adults nationwide between April 24 - 30, and it carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.