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'Occupy Wall Street' more popular than Tea Party

NEW YORK -- This Saturday marks one month since Occupy Wall Street protesters set-up camp at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. Since then the demonstrations have spread to dozens of cities across the country. This weekend, a global day of protests is planned, and organizers say they expect events to be held in more than 800 cities in 71 countries.

Clearly, the movement appears to be growing. Now we have some new information about how the rest of the country views what’s happening in Zuccotti Park and beyond.

From an NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll released Wednesday:

  • 37% of the country tends to support the movement; 18% oppose; 25% have no opinion. That’s more than those who say they support the Tea Party -- just 26% say they support it, while 64% say they do not.
  • The movement is most popular in the Northeast, where people tend to support it 48%-15%. It is least popular in the South where 30% support, 22% oppose.
  • Perhaps counter-intuitively, the movement has its highest support among the highest income earners, (those making more than $75,000 year): 40% support, 24% oppose. Among the poorest, however, it is also popular (less than 30K year): 35% support, 11% oppose.
  • Among ethnic groups, the protests are popular among African-Americans, 41% support, 7% oppose; among Hispanics 35% support, 15 oppose; among Whites 37% support, 18% oppose.
  • Among political parties, unsurprisingly, the movement is most popular among Democrats (56%-6%), and least popular among Republicans, where a plurality do not support 17%-34%. Independents support 34%-17%.

Since the demonstrations started there have also been nagging questions about what protesters believe in, and what they want. Early last week New York Magazine conducted an informal survey of 100 protesters at Zuccotti Park to gauge their views on everything from President Obama to capitalism. A few snippets are below.

What do you think of Obama?

  • I believed in him, and he let me down: 40
  • He’s doing great: 1
  • I never believed in him: 27
  • He’s doing the best he can: 22

Did you vote in the 2010 midterm elections?

  • Yes: 39
  • No: 55
  • No, but only because I wasn’t 18:

Rank yourself on the following Scale of Liberalism:

  • Not liberal at all: 6
  • Liberal but fairly mainstream (i.e., Barack Obama): 3
  • Strongly liberal (i.e., Paul Krugman): 12
  • Fed up with Democrats, believe country needs overhaul (i.e., Ralph Nader): 41
  • Convinced the U.S. government is no better than, say, Al Qaeda (i.e., Noam Chomsky): 34

For more from the field on Occupy Wall Street, check out msnbc.com's Field Notes blog.

*** UPDATE *** We checked to see how the supporters and opponents of Occupy Wall Street broke down in their approval or disapproval of President Obama.

Those who tend to support the protesters, said they approved of the president's job 61%-35%.

Those who tend to oppose the protesters, did not approve of the president's job by an 11%-88%

Those with no opinion were 42%-49%.

The margin of error on this question is +/-3.55%.