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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Poll: Virginia tea party supporters very conservative, very white

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Rosalind S. Helderman

A recent poll conducted by the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College found that Virginia residents are roughly split between those who say they agree with the tea party (33 percent), those who say they disagree with it (32 percent) and those who say they have no opinion of the burgeoning political movement (35 percent).

The poll included live interviews with 601 Virginians conducted between Nov. 29 and Dec. 8. It's the same poll that we told you about last month that found solid approval ratings for Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). The college released those results late last month and publicized the tea party results Tuesday.

The poll found that those who said they agree with the tea party closely mirrored those who otherwise called themselves conservatives when asked questions about issues. Like other conservatives, tea party supporters were more likely than others to support tough anti-illegal immigration laws, to oppose raising taxes, to support balancing the budget through spending cuts and to view health care as an individual responsibility.

In fact, 75 percent of those who say they agree with the tea party identified themselves as conservative. Eighteen percent identified themselves as moderate and 5 percent self-identified as liberal. Fifty-five percent identified themselves as Republican, while 33 percent identified as independents and 5 percent as Democrats. They overwhelmingly supported Republican John McCain for president in 2008 (81 percent) and McDonnell for governor in 2009 (84 percent).

Of those who said they disagree with the tea party, 38 percent identified themselves as liberals, 48 percent as moderates and 14 percent identified as conservatives. Sixty percent identified themselves as Democrats, 29 percent independents and 5 percent Republicans.

Tea party supporters included more men (60 percent) than women (40 percent) and were overwhelmingly white (94 percent). Interestingly, 79 percent of those who said they disagreed with the tea party also were white. It's worth noting that the college said nearly 84 percent of those polled overall were white, 11.5 percent were black and 2 percent were Hispanic/Latino.

Tea party supporters had a lousy view of the direction of the nation and how Democrats and President Obama are handling the federal government. But they took a kinder view of Virginia, with 82 percent approving of McDonnell's job performance and 65 percent indicating they believe Virginia is headed in the right direction.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 4, 2011; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama, Polls, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

It seem the Post hides ethnicity when minorities are the perperator and but reveal it when it favors a minority opinion. Madam editor, that is a form of racism too.

Posted by: tenthduf | January 4, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

No spit! Really? This is news?

The only real news about this, which is never spoken of for some reason: Tea Baggers are actually lower class and middle class white conservatives who are being manipulated/used by the Rich to take/keep/maintain their own status. the Rich GOP could care less about any/all "culture war" issues. They simply talk the talk to get the votes of those stupid enough to not understand they are being used to keep Rich people rich, at everyone else's expense.

Posted by: AnonPoster | January 4, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

How utterly shocking! The teabaggers are mostly middle-aged white racist males. And not very bright or well informed, I bet.

Posted by: BigTrees | January 4, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Who didn't know that teabaggers have one thing in common: They can't stand a black man in the white house. Period. It is an utter affront to their white, racist attitudes. Screw all of them.

Posted by: fmamstyle | January 4, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Who didn't know that teabaggers have one thing in common: They can't stand a black man in the white house. Period. It is an utter affront to their white, racist attitudes. Screw all of them.

Posted by: fmamstyle | January 4, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a shocker! Liberal's calling whites that don't agree with them racists. Very original.

Posted by: crazydude | January 4, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Virginia Obama apologists: very left-leaning; very black?

Posted by: mftill | January 4, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Why do people insist on calling Tea Party supporters racist? Just because they call Obama a Muslim who wasn't born in America? Go figure.

Posted by: sonny2 | January 4, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Virginia tea party supporters very conservative, very white
----------------------------------------------
I would add: middles aged, fat, angry, uneducated... and unfortunately very motivated...

Posted by: waxtraxs | January 4, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

How about taking a poll of the Congressional Black Caucus to see how many are black?

Posted by: priveye | January 4, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Racists you say? Really? Who knew?

Posted by: question-guy | January 4, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

How about taking a poll of the Congressional Black Caucus to see how many are black?
***********************************************

As a black guy, your comment was too good. Right on point.

Posted by: clifton3 | January 4, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Why not take a similar poll at an AIPAC convention? Other than the goyim "useful idiots" invited to speak or pay homage,poll how many are Jews. A little racial or ethnic solidarity is a good thing. It's only when Whites engage in it that it becomes "racism".

Posted by: slim21 | January 4, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

And this is news because? You actually wasted time and money to find that out that tea party supporters are as a majority, conservative and white? This article is yet another attempt to classify the tea party as a white and racist group of people. Pathetic.

Posted by: Jsuf | January 4, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Virginia Obama supporters very left-leaning, very black.

Posted by: mftill | January 4, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Why am I not shocked that they are conservative whites ... and in the South they probably are looking for their ancestors white picket hats.

Posted by: hsolares | January 4, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

You're beating around the Bush, Rosalind. White, conservative bagger = racist pig. They all are and proudly admit it after they have their 2nd cheap beer.

Posted by: thw2001 | January 4, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

@thw2001: That's fine. You can call all conservatives racists. All it shows is how simple minded, you supposed "liberal open minded" leftys really are. Conservatives can drink their cheap beer and be proud about themselves while you liberal elitists drink your wine and Stella Artois' and complain about everyone else and how ignorant you think they are.

Posted by: Jsuf | January 4, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry every time I listen to a Teabagger all I see is ignorant racist who can't stand the fact that a black man is the President. They would never have "risen up" as they have had Obama been a white man. They refuse to give him any credit for anything, regardless of whether it was a good idea or not, and the radical right have found the keys to the kingdom which is say anything, even if it's a baldface lie, because some stupid sheep ignorant poor geezer will believe it even if every major real news organization reports that they have researched the facts and found the assertions of the right to be factually without merit. When Barney Frank said to the lady "Talking to you is like talking ot a dining room table" what he left out was a "mindless ignorant" dining room table. Hopefully these mindless jerks will die off before they infect others or procreate. It's a sin...remember that.

Posted by: jacquie1 | January 4, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I may not agree with the teabaggers, but to assume that they are all racist because they do not agree with Obama is lazy thinking, if not dishonest.

Posted by: steve1231 | January 4, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

White. As in Grand Wizard.

Posted by: kinoworks | January 4, 2011 11:06 PM | Report abuse

"Virginia Tea Party supporters very conservative, very white."

[In related news, Pope declares allegiance to Catholicism, and bear seen defecating in woods.]

Really, now???

Posted by: nan_lynn | January 5, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

"...Virginia residents are roughly split between those who say they agree with the tea party (33 percent), those who say they disagree with it (32 percent) and those who say they have no opinion of the burgeoning political movement (35 percent)."
Ms Helderman, please return to your High School and have your English teacher explain when to use "between" and when to use "among".

Posted by: rgmcf | January 6, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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