Let’s have a Tea Party! Part II

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


Filed under Tea Party Movement

12 responses to “Let’s have a Tea Party! Part II

  1. WSClark

    I’ve not been to a Tea Party rally, so I don’t have first hand knowledge of who is attending. I am sure that there are some people of color and some younger people at these rallies, but when I see photos, I rarely see anything but older white folks.

    (I hope the man in the thread photo is not representative of younger folks in the Tea Party.)

  2. itolduso

    I think he might have been sending a message to Jerry and company 🙂

  3. itolduso

    No, I actually have had to… ahem, work. But, then again, while there are aspects of the Tea Party movement that interest me, the movement as a whole does not.

  4. GMC70

    What’s your point, WS?

  5. WSClark

    “What’s your point, WS?”

    In what regard, GMC? In writing the series?

  6. GMC70

    In pointing out that Tea Party affiliates differ in their perceptions somewhat from the population at large. Of course they do!

    So what?

    • WSClark

      Yesterday’s column was regarding the “what.” Today’s is the “who.” Tomorrow is my opinion.

      That they differ in opinion from the general populous is relevant to the progression of the series.

      When I write columns for the Pop Blog, I try to bring in facts or my opinion that will elicit commentary from those that visit here.

      That was my reason for quoting that poll.

  7. tosmarttobegop

    So, if you were to “build” an average Tea Partier, he would be male white, older, Republican,

    OMG where is the next Tea party meeting, I am so left out!

    Oh sure I get invited to monthly breakfast meeting of grumpy old farts!
    Well I guess that is close enough….

  8. Well, lately it seems the tea partiers are arguing among themselves as badly as the two major parties do.

    As long as Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and others who share their extreme right-wing philosophy are defacto leaders, they won’t attract anyone but the most dedicated Republicans. Certainly won’t be attractive to moderates from either side.

    • indypendent

      And the fact that Mark Williams and the Tea Party Express was kicked out of the Tea Party for writing that racist, hate-filled diatribe on a website only muddies the water further.

      And let’s see – the average person may not realize there are several different groups of tea drinkers. But to hear something so racist coming from a leader of a tea party group does not exactly say welcome everybody .

      The tea partiers have only themselves to blame for the reputation they have today. I still remember the rude and obnoxious town hall protesters and I’m sure they are the same faces at many of these tea party rallies.

  9. The thread header tells us statistics about who the tea partiers are. I wonder if anyone knows where they are? Are there pockets / states where their numbers are larger, where they’re more active? Would their concentrations correspond to a map showing states where the vote was consistently more “R” or “D”? If so, have the “R” and “D” states changed from the 2008 elections if we use those concentrations as indicators?

    Since the electoral college is how presidents get elected, I’d think looking at where these activists are located and concentrated would be one part of the info that needs to be analyzed for upcoming elections.