A survey released earlier this month by Harvard University's Institute of Politics suggests that only 11 percent of voters 18 to 29 consider themselves supporters of the tea party.
Peter Levine of CIRCLE, a Tufts University group that conducts research on political involvement of young Americans, says the tea party has been a hard sell to young voters because see it as embracing conservative social values. Levine says that holds true even for those who identify with the party's call for stricter fiscal conservatism.
Patrick Kelly, a tea party activist and freshman at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill., says a lot of people think the tea party is "just a bunch of right-wing extreme radicals"and racists. Kelly says, "that's the biggest deterrent."