Tea Partiers: wealthy and smart? - Macleans.ca
 

Tea Partiers: wealthy and smart?

New poll reveals surprising profile of the tea party supporter


 

Tea Party supporters: down-and-out Americans raising confederate flags from the roll-down windows of their mobile homes, right? Not exactly. A New New York Times/CBS poll found that, in fact, Tea Partiers are richer and more educated than the average American. The poll shows that the average Tea Party supporter is “Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.” So what exactly sets a Tea Partier apart from an ordinary Republican backer? The Tea Partier is more likely to describe Barack Obama as “very liberal,” more likely to say he is “angry” with Washington, and more likely to think that the government is making too much of the issues facing African Americans. Six out of ten believe that “America’s best years are behind us.”

New York Times


 
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Tea Partiers: wealthy and smart?

  1. Only the editorial board of MacLean's, which cannot figure out why Canadians overwhelmingly oppose the niqab in interactions with the state (e.g., driver's license photos), would be *surprised* by this. They just cannot imagine that anyone rational and reasonably might disagree with Barack Obama on the merits of his ideas and policies. The kind of "anger" displayed by teaparty folks would be useful in Canada where the budget deficit in Ontario is larger than California's (and keep in mind Calif has as many people as all of Canada) but there is nothing but lethargy.

  2. If these people had come out and been opposed to George W. Bush on anything he did, they might be taken seriously. When you keep your mouth shut while the problems mount and then complain about the person who now has to fix it, you're not adding anything useful.

    If the people screaming ethnic and other slurs and congressmen are well educated, that's a massive indictment of the American education system.

    • "If the people screaming ethnic and other slurs and congressmen are well educated, that's a massive indictment of the American education system."

      I would suggest that those screaming slurs at congressmen are not really representative of the typical tea party supporter. That's what this story is about. The typical teaparty supporter is not the knuckle-dragging neanderthal that critics have tried to make them out to be.

      I would also suggest that many of these people were likely not fans of GWB in his second term. You don't reach Bush's historic lows in approval ratings unless a significant fraction of your own support base disapproves of the job your doing.

      • And yet, they didn't come out until after he was gone. Where were they when Mr. Bush was still in charge?

        • Yes, they probably should have been out and about in the final years of the Bush Administration but I think it's already well-known that people are bit hypocritical when it comes to politics.Nothing new there. Still, IIRC, it was healthcare reform that really set this in motion (with smaller initial protests over TARP).

          That said, it's quite clear from Bush's and the Republican-controlled Congress' (and susbsequent Democrat-controlled Congress) approval ratings and steadily declining Republican voter identification that these people have been upset and disillusioned for quite some time. However, I do agree it's convenient for them that Congress and the White House are now controlled by Democrats.

          • The percentage holding a favorable opinion of former President George W. Bush, at 57 percent

          • Remember the 2006 Liberal leadership convention when Chretien was greeted like a king by the delegates? The delegates, many of whom, were the very people who wanted to replace him with Martin just three years earlier. What's the point of this anecdote? People's opinions on leaders can change quite dramatically when they get to see the next person in action.

            You don't think that after watching Obama in action for over a year and continuing and extending the Bush policies that would be unpopular with this group (bailouts, stimulus) and going further with healthcare reform that a few of them may look back at Bush and come to the conclusion it wasn't nearly as bad as this? Particularly given that this group of people are largely conservative and agree with Bush on values issues and strongly disagree with Obama (who has also implemented changes in US policy on values issues that this group would overwhelmingly oppose)?

  3. The reason the Tea Party exists in the first place is because a critical mass of people have come to the realization the the US Constitution is being obliterated. Most Obamists couldn't even tell you why the Constitution was actually written, let alone understand the importance of defending it.

    • isn't obama a constitutional expert…bush and palin are more like somebody you would see on jerry springer

    • "the US Constitution is being obliterated"

      How so?

  4. These people remind me of some of the fringe members of the early Reform Party in Canada. Think of the comments that used to come out of the mouths of some of the Reform Party MPs and some Reform candidates during elections.

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/

  5. I don't really find a 57% favourable rating for George Bush among this group to be particularly surprising in the current political climate. It's also a pretty low number considering that this group of people form a considerable part of the coalition that got Bush elected in the first place. It points to the general disenchantment of the Republican base.

    • My point is that the suggestion that keeps being made is that all of this has been brewing for quite a while. If this were the case, then they should know that the out of control spending started when Mr. Clinton left office. The Bush Administration oversaw a budget increase of more than $1 trillion (that's a 50% increase). If, as the polls suggest, these people are smart folks, and their primary concern is government spending, they should be just as furious at Mr. Bush as they are with Mr. Obama.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm all for controlling government spending. But the whole tea party thing smacks of hypocrisy. It just annoys me is all.

      • "If, as the polls suggest, these people are smart folks, and their primary concern is government spending, they should be just as furious at Mr. Bush as they are with Mr. Obama."

        How is this any different than Liberal supporters blaming the Conservatives for Canada's climate change record? I don't see too many people going around stating that "if Liberals are smart folks they'd be just as furious with Chretien and Martin". People have a natural tendency to ignore the sins of the home team. Let's not pretend it's a Tea Party only phenomenon. Still, if 57% have a favourable view of Bush that means 43% of them don't view him favourably. Does that not suggest that a large number of them are scornful of Bush?

        • It isn't any different. People need to get over being attached to political parties.

          Still, if 57% have a favourable view of Bush that means 43% of them don't view him favourably. Does that not suggest that a large number of them are scornful of Bush?

          Not enough. Its still significantly higher than the general population at the end of his presidency.

  6. Tea- Partiers believe in the free lunch. They want the good roads, strong military, subsidized food and not pay any tax for any of those things.