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Polls of tea party movement provide some big-picture specifics

Just who are tea partiers? A Quinnipiac University poll out today finds 15 percent of registered voters consider themselves a "part of" the movement, making it the latest in a long line of other efforts to try to pin down the movement. Over the past few months, pollsters have used a range of questions, each yielding some overlapping but also some divergent results.

There are at least four main approaches to pegging the tea party movement - asking if people agree with the movement's positions on the issues, whether people "support" the movement, if they consider themselves a "part of" it and activism, marked by attendance at rallies or financial or other support.

As seen in the table below, some central themes emerge. Tea partiers appear to be largely Republican and conservative, are more apt to be white than the population as a whole and are more apt to be male than female. Those who are more active in the movement seem particularly likely to have higher levels of formal education than those who support it, agree with its positions or consider themselves "part" of it.

There are also a few aberrations in the pattern that are worth noting:

--In most of these polls, tea partiers are a bit older than the population overall, though the "supporter" questions generate a particularly wide range. Some of this difference may be due to question wording or order.

USA Today/Gallup's question asked if you were a supporter or an opponent of the movement, while the others used a "supporter... or not" construction. The AP poll asked the supporter question after asking respondents whether they agreed with the movement's positions on most issues, while Gallup's question followed a favorable rating and CBS asked about support after asking if the movement reflected the views of most Americans.

--Quinnipiac's March survey found a more female set of tea partiers than did other polls. There are no other surveys asking a similar question to compare it to, though their poll also found self-identified Republicans include more women than men, a pattern which does not hold in the Post's recent polling.

--The Post's poll pegging those who "strongly agree" with the movement finds a slightly different partisan and ideological makeup than other surveys, with fewer moderates and more Democrats saying they agree with the movement in the Post survey.

               Agree with   Activist      Supporter of     Part of
          All  WP  AP-Ag    Pol  CNN   UT/G  AP-Sp  CBS/NY   QU
Male      48   57   64      64   60     55    59      59     45

White     78   87   87      84   72     79    80      89     85

18-44     50   48   32      43   38^    35    49      23     41^
45+       50   52   66      59   60^    65    50      75     55^

Dem.      34   18    3       9   15      8     8       5     12
Rep.      24   45   52      43   47     49    47      54     44
Ind.      38   31   33      36   39     43    34      36     38

Income:
<$50,000  50   44   32      30** 38     35    49      23     49
$50K+     47   51   50      62** 53     54    52      56     39

Education:
Non clg   67   66   78      39   32     68    76      62     77
Clg grad  33   35   21      59   66     31    24      37     22

Ideology:
Lib.      24   16    3      NA    5      7     3       4      4
Mod.      32    8   14      NA   22     22    26      20     21
Cons.     42   72   78      NA   71     70    68      73     74
**Income break for Politico survey is <$60,000 vs. $60,000 or more
^Age break for Quinnipiac and CNN polls is 18-49, 50+

All: All adults from Washington Post March 2010 poll

Agree with:

WP: Washington Post poll, "strongly agree" with tea party "positions on the issues," March 2010

AP-Ag: AP-Gfk poll, "strongly agree" with tea party movement's "positions on political issues," April 2010

Activist:

Pol: Politico exit poll of participants in tea party Tax Day Rally on the National Mall, April 2010

CNN: CNN poll of tea party activists, have "given money to" or "attended a rally or meeting held by" any organization "associated with the tea party movement," or "took any other active steps to support the tea party movement," April 2010

Supporter of:

UT/G: USA Today-Gallup poll, consider self, "a supporter of the tea party movement," March 2010

AP-Sp: AP-Gfk poll, consider self a "supporter of the tea party movement," April 2010

CBS/NY: CBS News-New York Times poll, consider self "a supporter of the tea party movement," April 2010

Part of:

QU: Quinnipiac University poll, among registered voters, consider self "part of the tea party movement," March 2010

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  April 21, 2010; 1:27 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Crosstabs , Tea party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Who rocks the red? A look at the polling
Next: Most back stricter financial reform, advantage Obama

Comments

The bottom line in most of these polls is that nearly all of those identifying themselves as Tea Party supporters are Republican and have voted Republican consistently. This is not a spontaneous reaction of ordinary citizens, just an offshoot of the GOP.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse


The bottom line in most of these polls is that nearly all of those identifying themselves as Tea Party supporters are Republican and have voted Republican consistently. This is not a spontaneous reaction of ordinary citizens, just an offshoot of the GOP.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 21, 2010 2:57 PM
=======================
Same goes for all anti-Bush sentiment right? Just all toadies of the democratic party I guess.

Let me guess. A double standard will emerge.

Posted by: Cryos | April 21, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse


What amazing results from multiple polls. The Tea Baggers are mainly angry white males who always vote republican. Who knew?

Posted by: Jamobthere | April 21, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the main stream media is "totally befuddled" about who and what these folks are about shows just how out of touch they are...

Hope the "it must be the GOP" makes you cats feel better, because there are a whole bunch of us that have no love for either party..

Step 1. Read a bit about how and WHY our nation was formed, up to and including the Constitution.
Step 2. Conceptualize how far we have strayed. Dems wil cry out here "well what about Bush?". If you do, you are again missing the picture. Strayed meaning starting with John Adams and continue on from there.
Step 3. We'll, if you have a lick of sense, at step 3 you'll be at a Tea Party...

Posted by: kbalderson | April 21, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

@parkerfl1

Read much? You need to correct your statement to reflect the poll data. Try:

"The bottom line in most of these polls is that less than half of those identifying themselves as Tea Party supporters are Republican."

The "and have voted..." portion of your statement is not verifiable. Your "offshoot" conclusion is not supported.

The facts hurt that much?

Posted by: vachiliman | April 21, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The tea party is a made-for-television mini-series created by FOX NEWS to fill air space.

The word mini is used deliberately, to also describe the size of their collective brains.

Liberty?

Don't make me laugh.

You want your country back?

Get in line behind the Apache, Creek, Crow, Iroquois, Blackfoot, Seminole, Algonquin, and Cherokee nations.

So the Tea Baggers are about INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY? Then I can assume they are for the legalization of pot, the freedom for women to control their own bodies? How about freedom for people to choose same sex relationships? And my GOD what they are about to do in Arizona, rounding up folks like and profiling and no fuss here. Oh I forgot, they are brown people.

If this were true, more people would join them. But of course this is just another lie from Conservatives. They want to dictate to us and tell us what we can put in our bodies and what we do in the bedroom. They want to mandate Christian prayer in public schools. They want to dictate what must be and what can't be taught in public schools. They want to assure that a large portion of federal spending is on elaborate weapons systems, but no money to care for vets.

Since their inception the Teaparty crowd (not a movement since they do have the numbers or clout) have been “haters not debaters”. In my opinion this is what the small portions of the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” have brought you. They are good at “Follow the Leader” of their dullard leaders, they listen to Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards. Let’s face it the Republicans had 8 years to deal with health care, immigration and financial oversight and governance and they failed. The cold hard fact is that the Tea Parties are a giant magnet for kooks, white supremacists and neo-Nazi hate groups because so many leaders in the movement, from Glenn Beck on down, regularly tell their audiences that provably untrue things are true.

Posted by: sherardg | April 21, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey vachiliman, did you read the numbers?

% White: 78,87,87,84,72,79,80,89,85
% Republican: 24,45,52,43,47,49,47,54,44
% Conservative: 42,72,78,NA,71,70,68,73,74

Overwhelmingly white people who identify themselves as Republican or Conservative. However very few non-white democrats who identify themselves as liberals. These polls appear to match-up well with the Tea Bagger rally videos I've seen on Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and all over the web.
This isn't about the "main stream media", but simply a case where if it looks like a right-wing duck, and walks like a right-wing duck, and quacks like a right-wing Tea Bagger duck. Why not just admit who you really are, and what you really believe instead of trying to say that Tea Baggers come from a broad spectrum of Americans. That's a complete lie that even Goebbels would be proud of. Quack-Quack-Quack

Posted by: Jamobthere | April 21, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

wait, let me get this straight.....

the Teabaggers are the hippies of yesteryear??

(rolling)

I thought they all went Buddhist?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 21, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

By now, they are completely obvious Republicans, along with other exremists like Klan types and militia nuts.

Posted by: revbookburn | April 21, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Its painfully obvious to see how scared the media is of the Tea Party movement. The new tactic of demonizing those in the Tea Party movement by Clinton on major media outlets as being Terrorists, racist rednecks will only make the movement stronger and stronger because you all fail to realize that its made up of more then just Conservatives or liberals. Its everyone who is tired of the gov. being out of control.
Go ahead and keep up with the name calling and the insults, all it will do is make the movement grow and grow.

Posted by: ConcernedAmerican10 | April 22, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

The NYT/CBS poll, the most thorough with the lowest margin of error, found:

• 85% of tea party movement supporters voted for Republicans in the past. Only five percent consider themselves Democrats.

• A whopping 89% of supporters are white, with only one percent black.

• About 40% of supporters do not believe President Barack Obama is an American citizen.

• 59% of tea party movement supporters are men.

When it looked at activists instead of mere supporters, the poll found them to be significantly more radical. Many activists say that violence against the government may be necessary.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/us/politics/15poll.html?src=me&ref=homepage

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20002529-503544.html

Posted by: query0 | April 22, 2010 4:04 AM | Report abuse

Right because CBS and the NY times are not left wing at all. Nice try but it is a fail.

Posted by: ConcernedAmerican10 | April 22, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Tea Partyers are Republicans in Independent Drag; also leaderless thus parasitic looking for a host to which to attach themselves. Thank god it's not the Democratic Party, and Republican pols put themselves at risk by jumping into their parades hoping to steal a vote or two. See Ichabod's Kin at ichabodskin.wordpress.com

Posted by: ichabod1861 | April 22, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

hey, how about the wonderful poll that wapo had on it's front page on Good Friday, and it only took two reporters to write the story, which completely supports my disdain for polls. Of the 1,009 people polled about HCR bill, 93% were white, and 74% were conservative. not exactly a TRUE representation of 130,000,000 voters. the media and the polling companies put far too much emphasis on polls, and I wish that I would see real thoughtful statements from right wing commentors, but most of the time, in between insults, all I see is poll results that support their views. I've never voted because of a poll, have you?

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Posted by: itkonlyyou29 | April 26, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The most telling statistic about the Tea Party is that 85% of them have voted Republican in the past. Talk is cheap; one isn't defined by their words ("we TPers are a rainbow...") so much as by their actions.

Said it for years: most (not all--read what I'm saying, not what you want to hear) so-called "independents" in this country are simply Republicans that are too cowardly to admit it. Rush does it with his "I'm not Republican, I'm Conservative" thing, and on and on. Because to admit it, with the evidence from your paragons like Reagan, Cheyney, and the Bushes, would be to confront a legacy of governance and ideas that don't actually work in a nation of 300+ million people.

In effect, Tea Partyers are trying to avoid the very same responsibility they preach. But then again that's way easier than actually having integrity. "Down with government and everyone else" slides out of the throat more quickly than "mea culpa."

Again, the statistics are telling: the majority of TPers answer "no, we don't want to start our own party." They're right: if they took responsibility for their views and started their own, independent, party, they would get creamed in every election into perpetuity. TPers know, deep down, that they are a small minority of Americans. They can puff themselves up all they want to, but their actions speak much louder than words.

I see little choice but laughter to know that while many of the patriots TPers constantly evoke died to form a new nation, TPers are content to be part of a party they claim they don't care about. That is exactly why this too, shall pass. Their "revolution" is confined to a tea pot, if you will.

Posted by: pc111 | April 27, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Tea parties will pass? well everything passes, Even Obumer and his self rigorous agenda, his czars, and his Chicago appointed crooks, along with his Muslim beliefs. The sooner the better!

Posted by: scottbooth | April 28, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

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