The New York Times and CBS recently commissioned a poll in hopes of better understanding the Tea Party movement, and the findings are pretty interesting. Here’s a clip:
Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.
They hold more conservative views on a range of issues than Republicans generally. They are also more likely to describe themselves as “very conservative” and President Obama as “very liberal.”
And while most Republicans say they are “dissatisfied” with Washington, Tea Party supporters are more likely to classify themselves as “angry”…
Tea Party supporters’ fierce animosity toward Washington, and the president in particular, is rooted in deep pessimism about the direction of the country and the conviction that the policies of the Obama administration are disproportionately directed at helping the poor rather than the middle class or the rich…
They do not want a third party and say they usually or almost always vote Republican. The percentage holding a favorable opinion of former President George W. Bush, at 57 percent, almost exactly matches the percentage in the general public that holds an unfavorable view of him…
I’d like to be respectful toward these folks. Generally, I like middle aged white men. Demographically speaking, they’re my people. But, I find it hard to take them seriously when they’re 1) just now becoming outraged over our government’s exercise of power, and 2) insisting that Obama is “very liberal,” when he hasn’t in reality done a damned thing to demonstrate that. (See the bailing out of banks, and the scuttling of real health care reform.) I might otherwise be sympathetic to some of their arguments, but I can’t take them seriously when they insist that we’re living under a more tyrannical regime than we did for eight of the last nine years.
In the defense of the Tea Party, I will say this… At least they’re starting to figure out where to draw the line. (They just decided to bump “birther” Orly Taitz from a rally in California.)
Now, if they’d just turn their back on Jon Voight.