Survey: 3 in 10 Americans identify with Occupy, Tea Party movements
An Occupy Wall Street protest in Los Angeles on Thursday.
November 17th, 2011
03:47 PM ET

Survey: 3 in 10 Americans identify with Occupy, Tea Party movements

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Both the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements identify with the values of just under a third of the country, according to a survey released Thursday.

Twenty-nine percent of Americans say the Occupy Wall Street movement shares their values, the same proportion who say Tea Party shares their values, the survey found.

The poll was conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with the Religion News Service.

“Americans are deeply divided along partisan lines in their evaluations of these movements,” according to the survey report, “although Republicans are significantly more likely to say the Tea Party shares their values than Democrats are to say the Occupy Wall Street movement shares their values.”

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said the the Tea Party does not share their values, compared to a statistically equal 56% of respondents who indicated the same about the Occupy movement.

Fifty-nine percent of Republicans and just 14 percent of Democrats said their values were in line with the Tea Party. When asked about the Occupy movement, 40% of Democrats and 17% of Republicans say their personal values match the values of Occupy Wall Street.

The Occupy movement, which celebrates its two-month anniversary Thursday, is an international protest movement that has called for a number of different reforms, including resolving income inequality and modifying the tax code.

Though respondents said their beliefs didn't align with the Occupy movements, the idea of combating inequality, when asked on its own, did survey positively.

"Majorities of nearly every demographic group - including all major religious groups, age groups and education groups - agree that the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor," reads the survey.

Over two-thirds or 67 percent of respondents said the government should do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor. Less than one-third said the government should do less.

Americans are also divided over whether churches and clergy have provided enough moral leadership on the country's economic problems.

Forty-six percent of respondents in a Public Religion Research Institute poll released Thursday indicated that churches have not provided enough leadership during the financial crises. Forty-five percent indicated the opposite.

This division, which is within the survey's plus or minus 3 percent margin or error, was seen throughout almost all religious denominations, including Catholics, evangelical Protestants and mainline Protestants. With 64 percent responding that churches had not done enough, minority Protestants were the only denomination to not show a division within the margin of error.

The survey sampled 1,002 adults from November 10 to the 14 by phone.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Occupy Wall Street • Politics • Polls • Tea Party

soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. Texas Coyote

    I can't believe CNN can post this lame story on it's homepage! It' a ridiculous headline and if the person who posted it had really read it, they would have made a headline indicating the truth of the whole matter, which is, MOST PEOPLE SUPPORT OCCUPY!! Besides, only 1000 people were polled by some religious group, and even they sided with OCCUPY!!! CNN your losing it. "Houston, we have a problem!!!!!:"

    November 17, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Portland tony

      Roger that Houston!

      November 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  2. getready

    maybe it is time to start a discussion to end this modern creation? – the corporation

    November 17, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Fran

      That would be a good discussion to have. One judge legislated from the bench to make corporations "people". He was obviously very corrupt to do so.
      Since then, we have had other judges make even more outlandish rulings, like the one where money is considered "free speech" in a successfully criminal bid to avoid prosecution over bribery charges.
      That opened some floodgates. Now our government is no longer working in the best interests of all Americans.
      Obama is partly to blame. He is maintaining this corrupt status quo and doing NOTHING to stop it or even slow it down.
      Eric Holder is also to blame as the head of the DOJ. Criminal corruption is everywhere in DC, yet all he seems able to do is act like a big thug boss while ignoring EVERY bit of corruption possible. Two or three cases a year is a pathetic joke.
      You wonder how poor people with no hope and few resources can even protest?
      How can they not?

      November 18, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  3. Wired

    That's what happens when you poll trailer parks.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  4. Sonic10158

    So, the 99% is actually the 30%. Interesting

    November 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  5. tjaman

    I'm sick of the indentured servitude that is the existence of the working poor. Everything is set up to keep us down, scared and mistrustful of each other (instead of focused on the real problem - corrupt politicos, evil bankers, outrageously greedy CEOs and the MEDIA they OWN), and it's DISGUSTING! I am TOTALLY the 99percent. :\

    November 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  6. getready

    the media is the mouth of the corporations- no such thing as a corporation existed when this country was founded-
    corporations provide cover for individual to get away with a lot of nasty things- the corporations may get fined for this or that – but seldom is the individual- the human who made the decision held accountable-its a nice set up to get away with a lot of bad things-

    November 17, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  7. the_dude

    I love how hard CNN desparately tries to legitimize the fleabaggers.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  8. cony000

    I am going to share a word with you. This word is the only word that will help us to unite a divided country. Please use this word everywhere you go. Explain what the word means and how this word is the most powerful word to unite are nation. The word is USONIAN. It means a person from the United States of America. Don't use American. Why? Because people from Mexico, Canada, Brazil are also Americans. But what do you call a person from Mexico? Mexican. What do you call a person from Canada? A Canadian. What do you call a person from Brazil? A Brazilian. What do you call a person from the US? A Mexican-American, Greek-American, Afro-American, Irish American as so on. We are divided because we have no clue who we are. Use this word to describe who we are USONIANS. When you speak with the Occupy America 99% share this word with them. Help them to unite through this word. The powerful who control the masses through racism, spin, manipulation or any other method to divide us and keep us confused and chaotic will fear this word. Because word will unite everyone in this nation to discover who they are. Remember WE ARE USONIANS and no one on earth can stop us.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  9. street smart

    Why are whackos against free handouts but for WallSt/big business having one in the form of a bailout? Why are whackos for trickle down economics but against WallSt/big business trickling down their vailout/handout for the OWs & others? Just sayin

    November 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  10. Jablabla

    Just wait for the debt crunch to get worse. Nothing mathematically has changed. By the way, yesterday, US debt exceeded 15 Trillion. A 40% increase during the current administration. The point is being that nothing has changed. The leadership these days appears devoid of any common sense and the real world will apply itself at some point.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  11. getready

    ever see hogs at a trough? – has nothing to do with hard work – just the hoggiest hogs getting the most –

    November 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  12. getready

    as time goes on the two will converge – and look out

    November 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  13. Realist

    In 2009, the 1% contributed more than 1/3rd of gross federal individual tax receipts. Similarly, in 2009, the top 10% contributed more than 2/3rds of gross federal individual tax recipts. [Data easily found by googling, or visiting irs.gov]

    In 2009, the bottom 50% contributed approximately 2% (yes, TWO percent. That's not a typo) of gross federal tax receipts.

    These facts alone yield:

    1) The entire OWS effort as nothing more than organizing whining, likely from a bunch of slackers who don't have any real understanding of who is paying fo the park they're occupying, or for that matter even simple economics.
    2) The entire 1% already heavily taxed.. The top 30% are basically already paying FOR EVERYTHING. I say, tax the other 70%.

    This OWS movement is patently ridiculous. I have respect for the right to protest injustice, but only for people who have their facts straight.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Suzanne

      Those are facts....are you sure they can understand that? Might be a little over their heads.

      November 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  14. fakemedia


    November 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • TomTheTaxPayer

      Foolish people would be humorous if they didn't often result in brutal socialist dictatorships.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • What

      Hey Tom you need your house burned down I guess. Where do you live?

      November 17, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  15. J Mann

    Then the Tea Party and the OWS need to realize they both want the same thing – an honest government that doesn't let banks destroy our country, either by the criminal activities that just brought us to our knees or by benefiting from our tax dollars. Tea Street Party!

    November 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  16. John

    I wouldn't have the Tea Party even Tie my shoe. I wouldn't vote for anybody that was back or had anything to do with the Tea Party.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • John P

      So, you don't want a smaller national government, want higher taxes, want the liberals to spend spend and spend some more and you don't want to do you fair share of spending cuts. Yep, that's your typical lazy liberal (or union) mentality for you.

      November 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  17. Arthur

    I'm so sick of these protestors. They're all homeless scoundrels. Too bad the Army doesn't use napalm anymore.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • J Mann

      rest well at the home, Arthur. take your meds – that's a good lunatic.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • tom

      I'm so sick of scoundrels like you who want to screw the middle class out of existence by stacking the rules so much in favor of the wealthy that it will be the middle ages again.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Arthur

      Sure tom. Shouldn't you be in church?

      November 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • What

      Arthur you need your house burned down. Preferably with you inside. Where do you live?

      November 17, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Suzanne

      http://youtu.be/OAOrT0OcHh0 This guy hit the nail on the head!

      November 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  18. Juan in El Paso

    2/3 say the government should do more to close the gap and 1/3 say less. The government should do nothing! Let those who have the motivation to be sucessful do so and those who do not fall on thier face.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  19. donnie

    I think this is a cooked up poll to try and discredit both movements. It wouldn't be the first time that CNN has gone out of their way to do this.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Allen Gingrich

      I, too, have noticed that CNN seems to be against Occupy Wallstreet and the Tea Party. In fact, they seem to be a little bit against everything. Ever watched Wolf Blitzer? He seems to have contempt for even his co-anchors.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  20. binary truth

    Maybe they should be called the 30% instead of the 99%?

    November 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.