March 18, 2011, 4:20 PM GMT+0

Just 61% of the public have heard of the latest controversy at National Public Radio, where a fundraising executive was taped making negative comments about the Tea Party. But 90% of those who identify with the Tea Party in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll have-- and they didn't like it!

More than three in four of those Tea Party identifiers would cut off all federal funds for NPR, a position with which a narrow plurality of Americans overall also would agree. About one in three adults are willing to cut off funds, while 27% are not.

Party divisions hold on this question: 66% of Republicans want to cut off funds; Democrats would not, by 45% to 13%. A majority of liberals and nearly half of college graduates oppose cutting off funds for NPR.

Support for NPR is related to whether or not people listen. 61% of those who have listened in the last seven days oppose cutting off funding (though 29% would favor it). The NPR audience is somewhat more likely to be Democratic than Republican (29% of Democrats have listened to NPR in the last seven days; 20% of Republicans have). More than twice as many liberals as conservatives say they listened. 42% of college graduates listened in the last week. The Tea Party identifiers in this poll are just as likely as non-identifiers to admit to being recent NPR listeners (and NPR listeners are just about as likely as non-listeners to link themselves with the Tea Party).

The furor over the statement by the NPR executive may have underscored the polarization and lack of trust between those on different sides of the ideological spectrum. Asked whether liberals are generally tolerant of those with other views, 83% of conservatives (and 88% of Tea Partiers) said they are not. Looking at it from the other side, 89% of liberals believe conservatives are intolerant of those with other views. Both liberals and conservatives regard themselves as tolerant!

Image source: flickr ( Todd Huffman )

Explore more data & articles