Much has been made of the so-called inclusive grassroots nature of the Tea Party movement. While that sounds all American-y, warm and friendly, it basically isn’t true.
Note: (From the New York Times/CBS)
- Tea Party supporters were 89% white, 10% Hispanic and 1% black.
- 18% of Americans consider themselves Tea Party supporters.
- 90% of Tea Party supporters think the country is headed in the wrong direction.
- Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than age 45.
- 54% of Tea Party supporters have a “favorable opinion” of the Republican party compared to 38% of the general public.
- 6% of Tea Party supporters have a favorable opinion of the Democratic party compared to 42% of the general public.
- 30% think President Obama was born outside the United States compared to 20% of the general public.
- More than half (52%) told the pollsters they think their own “income taxes this year are fair.”
- 25% think that the administration favors blacks over whites — compared with 11% of the general public.
- 7% approve of how President Obama is doing his job compared to 50% of the general public.
- 92% feel that President Obama’s policies are moving the US towards “socialism”, compared to 52% for the general public.
So, if you were to “build” an average Tea Partier, he would be male white, older, Republican, think that we’re headed for socialism and generally have an unfavorable view of Democrats and President Obama. While it was not noted in the polling, he would be a church going Christian with a secret crush on Sarah Palin.
The polling does not bear out the contention that the Tea Party movement is a “big tent” organization populated by a cross-section of average Americans.
So, what to make of this Tea Party?
(Tune in tomorrow for Part III)
William Stephenson Clark