While about 44% of the general population identify themselves as Republicans, a whopping 80% of Tea Party supporters also identify themselves as Republicans.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed from February, Karl Rove hailed how the Tea Party movement “arose spontaneously” and “made an important splash” while warning that the Tea Party and the GOP “are, and should remain, distinct from one another” because “the sum would be less than the parts.” Similarly, early this year, a prominent Tea Party organizer insisted, "We must not allow the Tea Parties and other patriotic grassroots movement to be hijacked by the GOP.”
However, a new Gallup poll illuminates how the Tea Party and the GOP are not just closely related, but are in many ways indistinguishable from each other. The poll found that the two groups differ only slightly in the views of the 10 issues tested. In other words, they are the same shit with a slightly different smell.