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Myth-busting polls: Tea Party members are average Americans, 41% are Democrats, independents

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For upwards of 12 months now members of the so-called Tea Party protest movement have been stereotyped, derogated and often dismissed by some politicians and media outlets.

They've been portrayed variously as angry fringe elements, often inarticulate, potentially violent and merely Republicans in sheep's clothing or disgruntled pockets of conservatives blindly lashing out at a left-handed President Obama and the same side of his Democratic Party finally getting its chance to drive home a liberal agenda after eight years of Republican rule and six under a centrist Bill Clinton.

Alas for stereotypes, they're convenient, often catchy. But not necessarily true.

Now, comes a pair of polls, including Gallup, that paint a revealing detailed portrait of Tea Party supporters in most ways as pretty average Americans. A Sunday poll -- actually three national phone surveys of 1,000 registered voters -- found that 17% of all polled, or more than 500, called themselves "part of the Tea Party movement."

"It's a good sample size," David Winston, polling director of the Winston Group that did the poll for an education advocacy group, told the Ballot Box blog of The Hill newspaper. 

The Tea Party adherents broke down 28% independent, 17% Democrat and only 57% Republican. Not coincidentally, this bipartisan breakdown has been the way that Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin has often described movement members as "commonsense Americans" worried and....

...angered by the over-reaching one-party control of Democrats in Washington these last 15 months, rooted initially in opposition to Obama's $787 billion government economic stimulus package.

A new Gallup Poll out this morning of 1,033 finds nothing fringe about self-proclaimed Tea Party adherents; they are slightly more likely to be employed, male and definitely more conservative. But otherwise Gallup's Lydia Saad writes, "their age, educational background, employment status, and race -- Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large."

While economic issues like stubbornly high unemployment rates and declining home values cause widespread worries, Winston found top issues among the self-identified Tea Party followers are jobs/the economy and the exploding federal deficit. A whopping 95% told pollsters that Washington "Democrats are taxing, spending and borrowing too much."

Fully 87% told Gallup they oppose Obama's healthcare legislation.

The Winston poll says 80% of total Tea Party supporters dislike Obama's job performance, a higher negative rate even than the 77% of Republicans who disapprove of the ex-state senator's White House work.

They are, of course, only two polls and a long time politically until November. Given a widespread anti-incumbent environment, some GOP members of Congress might also pay a price come Nov. 2.

While the inconvenient polls may make media generalizers uncomfortable, it could also discomfit both major parties just seven months out from those crucial midterm elections. Congressional Republicans fare awfully in Tea Party minds, too, despite rhetorical efforts to catch up with the movement at times.

And if a sizable chunk of Obama's own party base crumbles away, as it did in 2009 gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey and in the January special Senate election in Massachusetts over healthcare, Nancy Pelosi could soon join the ranks of ex-House speakers. A change of only 40 House seats would shift control to the GOP.

The counter-intuitive good news for Obama in all that is that a Republican House would give him a handy target for any blame in his anticipated 2012 re-election bid, something he wouldn't have if both houses remained under their currently large Democrat majorities that have earned such low approval ratings.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Hat Tip Noel Sheppard

 
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I'm a freelance writer and I've worked for local newspapers covering a variety of stories (and taking pictures) for more than a decade. Last year, independently, out of curiosity and concern for excessive spending in Washington, I took photos at one of the first tea parties in New England, in Newburyport, MA and then on Tax Day at tea parties in Concord, Manchester and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. These polls are right in line with my observations. Some newspapers in this region tried to characterize the tea parties they reported as a "Republican" movement, but it was definitely not about party - the people were just as mad at Republicans who had allowed spending to skyrocket. The tea parties were very focused on the bailouts and "stimulus." The "Don't Tread On Me" crowd was joined by lots and lots of families. People arrived at tea parties singly, in small groups, and seemed genuinely surprised and delighted to find so many other people of like mind there. It was a spirited crowd. Instead of anger, people seemed genuinely happy to be there in support of the Constitution, liberty, and limits on Washington's power and spending.

The scornful, inaccurate, insulting "reporting" on the tea parties by the MSM has simply diminished their credibility in the eyes of the people who share concerns about the agenda and methods of the current administration and has caused tea partiers and Americans who share their concerns to get their news and information elsewhere.

And they're also usually heterosexual, married with children and have jobs that provide health insurance.

When you bring up the simple idea that their children's education is subsidized (through federal revenue sharing programs and by local childless residents who pay property and other taxes) AND the health insurance they purchase at their job is also subsidized (because their employer pays the costs on top of what they charge the employee) AND the subsidized tax benefits they receive as heterosexuals allowed to marry anywhere in this country (which is paid for by the higher tax rates for single individuals...whether heterosexual or homosexual...)... The Tea Party folks get angry at the word subsidized, when applied to themselves, and then comes trotting out the real reasons why these "average" Americans belong to The Tea Party Movement.

They want everyone to pay their "own way". Except when it comes to themselves. I had an in-depth discussion with a woman at my job who considers herself a conservative, Tea Party Republican. Her main focus was that she did not want to pay any more taxes than she already does. Admirable aim I suppose until she told me that she and her husband paid only 6.94% income tax last year on an income close to $100,000. I considered myself fortunate, as a single renter, to legally deduct my way down to the 15% tax bracket on an income just below $50,000. State income tax is not an issue as we both live and work in a state where there is none.

These Tea Party members are little more than ill-informed, narrow minded, money grabbing bigots who believe the sun rises and sets upon the white heterosexual American. They are a sad lot truth be told but they do need to be taken seriously unfortunately. Why? For the same reason that the opponents of same sex marriage needed to be taken seriously in California by many of those who supported it. Because "it couldn't happen here". Well it did. Apathy is the exact environment that allows groups like The Tea Party to grow. I take them seriously because what they stand for, what they believe in, is against everything that this country was founded for. And I, for one, will work as hard as I can to show how The Tea Party people ARE wrong. Peace.

The Gallup Poll says that Tea Party adherents, based on age, educational background, employment status and race, "are quite representative of the public at large," according to Gallup's Lydia Saad.

Oh really? I looked at the Gallup Poll data and found something totally different.

Contrary to what's been reported, the Tea Party movement's demographics more closely match those of the Republican Party than either Democrats or independents.

Forty-nine percent of Tea Party adherents are Republican, 43 percent are independent and only eight percent are Democrats. This is in sharp contrast to the overal U.S. electorate, in which 40 percent identify as independents, 32 percent as Democrats and only 28 percent as Republicans.

I don't know where Gallup gets off saying that the Tea Party movement is "representative of America as a whole," when 55 percent of Tea Party members are men and only 45 percent are women, comapred to women making up 51 percent and men 49 percent of voters overall (Not to mention the adult U.S. population as a whole).

Seventy percent of Tea Party members are conservative, 22 percent moderate and only seven percent are liberal. How does that square with only 40 percent of voters overall being conservative, 38 percent being moderate and 21 percent liberal? It's quit evident that the Tea Party movement is considerably to the right of the electorate as a whole.

With many Tea Party candidates openly challenging Republican incumbents in GOP primaries, it's rather apparent that the Tea Party movement poses a much greater threat to the Republicans than to the Democrats.

Then there is the matter of race. An overwhelming 79 percent of Tea Party members are white, matching the racial demographics of the GOP. Yet whites make up only 66 percent of the U.S. population as a whole, according to the Census Bureau.

With African Americans and Latinos heavily favoring the Democrats -- and Latino births now poised to outpace white births by 2012 -- the GOP and the Tea Party movement are, in fact, fighting to curry favor with a segment of the U.S. population that will inevitably become a minority by the middle of this century, while doing absolutely nothing to appeal to African Americans and Latinos -- and indeed are doing everything they can to alienate them.

That's not a good strategy for long-term political survival.

and by the way - "Independents" ??? What the hell does that mean anymore ? I've been registered "NO Party" for 20 years... that's "independent" with a small 'i' the way it should be. As soon as it's "Independent" --- it's NOT !

1. Axelrod is ignoring the tax on uninsured in the Health Care Bill- which is a regressive tax on those least able to pay.

2. Why is the ballot box insufficient for Tea Partiers who instead feel that something more - demonstrations, or whatever - is necessary to influence Washington politicians? The reason is that elections and the elected are bought and paid for by corporations. Their hireling politicians do not have to listen to the people who cast votes since it is money that wins elections.

3. What do those corporations pay for when they buy elections? Government spending: a bloated defense budget that is unrelated to actuall defense of the country and often reduces our security; bank bailouts; health insurer's bailout - all for the profit of corporations..

4, What is the effective response to these problems? Reform the electoral system so that corporations can no loger buy Washington. This requires Congress taking the authority away from the Supreme Court to interfere in the electoral process, and then prohibiting corporate involvement in the elctoral process. This can be done by a single law that should be the litmus test for support by any Tea Partier. It has nothing to do with the myth of left and right. It has to do with democracy versus corporatocracy (formerly known as plutocracy).

5. Supporting any other reform is irrelevant at this point because corporations will remain the owners of Washington. Anyone who will not support this reform is one of the corporatocracy, who will try to lure us into any reform or issue other than this one.

6. What is wrong with Obama, and his health law, his foreign policy, defense policy, bank policy is that he like they are corporocratic - and wasteful of tax dollars. What was wrong with Bush is just the same - he broke the bank with expensive unwinnable and unnecessary wars, and bank bailouts (supported by Obama).

7. There has to be a third way - commitment by any politican of any party to getting corporations out of politics, which requires first a law getting the Supreme Court out of elections.

Thanks for this realistic view of Tea Party people. I read the most profoundly derisive (snotty) account of some reporter attending a Tea Party rally. He characterized participants in the most derogatory terms. What I got from it was perhaps, he'd never been off campus somewhere pretty sheltered. Working America is paying the bills and deserves some respect. I, for one, don't intend to pay his bills by reading his column; he's ignorant! Perhaps he needs the experience of being out of work -- One of the Tea Party guys might give him a job! They're nice people.

So, how many tea-partiers are white or white hispanic, and how many are black? I never see any black faces in these crowds.

Did the polls ask for whom tea party adherents had voted in 2008? Would it have been "uncomfortable" to report that?

Nice article, coming from a generally left leaning institution. Although, as mentioned in the article, this is nothing that those of us in the movement haven't been saying for months. All one needs do is attend a single protest rally to realize how universal the disgust with government spending truly is.

Why didn't this article breakdown the numbers by race? It says "Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large." However, since the public at large is getting more colorful (more hispanics, blacks and Asians) I would think a true newsworthy article would have given us the break down. I suspect and from my own observations of the "Tea partiers" they are mostly white and mostly male. I understand they may come from all walks of life, but I have yet to see a significant number of blacks at their parties. Oh, and by the way: Tea is an English drink and englishman have tea parties, American's drink more coffee then tea and the Boston Tea party was in response to a tax reduction, not higher taxes.

(AM responds: Feel free to go to the poll link and read something for yourself.)

So-called Progressives have been touting the Forster and Meadows "Limits to Growth" screed for what seems like an eternity now. Remember, if you will and if it doesn't make you heave, how the mawkish, grinning, and sweatered Jimmah Carter educated us dumb bunnies 'bout the "energy crisis?" Now, it just so happens that we have on this planet enough thorium resources for nuclear energy production to last at the current consumption rate for a thousand years. Now, of course, we are told that we have to cut back on "entitlements" by the usual suspects in the Democratic and Republican parties "think tanks." Why? Because of course, we have limited resources, don't you see. Our economy just can't support spending on medical technology. Or so goes the Pete Peterson and his ilk's argument. Well, you can be a pessimistic sucker if you want. But just maybe you might want to be an optimistic human being. The choice is yours.

17% Dem and 57% Republican is bi-partisan??

The tea parties represent the "Loud" minority. Many of these people are uncapable of understanding political, national and even local issues it appears by there comments and actions. This country is made of many types of people conservative, liberal, centrist and others-but each segment understands that this country must remain free of hate, violence and intimidation.
Just be cause many of us do not go on street corners an yell obscenities, spit on people and act like run-away mobs does not mean that we do not have opinions.
I was raise by the motto-"If you can not be civil, be silent".

LA Times-- Tea Partiers are 8% Dems vs the 32% Dems of the US population, according to Gallup-- while the Winston Group comes up with the 4 in 10 numbers. A quick review of the Winston Group's blog: http://winstongroup.net/category/blog/ = definitely Republican leaning.

At least qualify the findings "according to a Republican-leaning polling group."

I'd like to think all groups this large are diverse. However, Sarah Palin is a huge star in this movement from what I understand. Palin, from everything I have heard, read and seen of her is probably unable to pass a math or literacy proficiency exam to any top university, intelligently explain any economic theory, or correct this run-on sentence. The conservative movement used to be about business, intelligence, low taxes, and letting people live their lives as free as possible from government interference. I miss this group--which for whatever reason--has been abolished from any party. Finally, there is this:
A whopping 95% told pollsters that Washington "Democrats are taxing, spending and borrowing too much."--from the article. And GWB, and the Republicans were so tidy with our money?

Good article to get the facts out how angry and frustrated the public is about this administrations handling of the country's affairs. They represent millions more who have the same concern and will express them at the ballot box in November 2010.

That's funny that they are so "average". Every picture I see of tea bags gathering shows 90% diabetes and gray hair...

The tea partiers are "average" people? Well, so were the "Know Nothings" back in the 1850s. So were the Klan in the 1920s. They were average people who degenerated into dangerous and unruly mobs who attacked everyone and everything they disliked or misunderstood in their ignorance. Hence the reason we all need to strive for "above" average instead of remaining 'average' and stupid!

Hey Andrew, are you still cashing checks from Laura Bush?


(AM responds: No. Why? What name are you using today?)

But... But... BUT... I thought tea party people were only white, racists, Christian, right-wing, male nut jobs! MSNBC told me so!!!

The day I se a sign at a Tea Party that does not criticize Obama for outrageous things, I might believe this story.

It's interesting that these guys didn't criticize Bush when he turned a budget surplus into a deficit with his, obviously misguided tax cuts.

Those who call themselves Democrats are indulging in a False flag operation.

Mentionned is Sarah Palin's "commonsense Americans" is questioned by Carl Sandburg's comment on the subject, [paraphrased] "If common sense is so common, why isn't more common?"

"angered by the over-reaching one-party control of Democrats in Washington" - why? were they angered by the same over-reaching one-party control of Republicans in Washington, state houses, state legislatures, school boards, and judiciary the previous 8 years? Where were they then? Let them go to hell.

We've been lied to by the media? Say it isn't so: the liberal controlled media's talking points were just that- talking points?

Signed'

Mister C
a bitter clinger, and proud of it

"41% are Democrats, independents" is misleading to the point of mendacity (i.e., a lie).

Let's try some different headlines:

"Only 57% of polled Tea-Partiers claim Republican affiliation"

"1 in 36 Americans is a "Tea Party" affiliated Democrat"

17% of 17% is not a lot.

57% Republican+28% independent is not "average Americans".

How 'bout this statistic: they're 95% White. Now crunch that around and recall all other such 'movements'.

why is this poll afraid to state the obvious ??? that is that 99.9% of the tea-baggers are white !!! oops !!! I forgot about keyes thet black man that OBAMA trounced on the way to the SENATE !!!


(AM responds: Well, actually not. If you go down into the numbers, racially the party profile is only slightly under the national percentage for blacks.)

The problem with TeaBaggers is, not only do they proudly sport an inexact moniker (they are, indeed represented- but they lost) they are totally misguided. They should be whipping each other for the votes they made(the ones who actually vote) that put the corporate policies in place to destroy the US and real free enteprise. They voted for union busting, deregulation, tax cuts for rich people and wars built on lies. This is the Reagan/Neo-Con legacy. Who are these people mad at?

So how do you all feel about Reaganomics now? The TeaBaggers have no one to blame but themselves.

Remember those photos of Reagan and the Bushes lounging with the queen of england and oil sheiks? They looked totally in their element. TeaBags should engage in a collective flogging of one another and repent to whatever master they're currently worshipping, happily pay their taxes to a country the purporte to love, that would be THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND STOP BLAMING THE REST OF US FOR THE POOR DECISIONS THAT THEY MADE.

the question I have is where were these people when george w. was running up the nations' tab ??? and, the other question is who did these people vote for in 2000 and in 2004 ??? I bet that 85% of them(100% of the republicans and 90% of the independents) voted for bush w. TWICE !!!

Here is one more sign that our government officials:

1) Are smoking crack
2) Are drinking WAAAAAY too much kool-aid
3) Are totally inept and in no way qualified to hold office - much less enact legislation that impacts the American people
4) All of the above

Click to see our government in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNZczIgVXjg&feature=player_embedded#

Points to ponder:

* Admiral Robert Willard, the head of U.S. Pacific Command, should get a $50K bonus for having to address this moron with a straight face.
* Rep. Johnson probably listened to too many Al Gore speeches where global warming causes ice bergs to tip over which, in turn, could cause North & South America to swap places. (Ask the Goricle)
* Everyone in a high-rise office in Manhattan had better get to the street quick! If that baby tips over, they'll be in too deep to swim.
* There are some Republicans who would give this guy a pass to keep the light off them.


THIS (and a myriad of other fed gov activities like it) is why I have declared myself an INDEPENDENT AMERICAN PATRIOT.

What a misleading and mendacious article and headline! I'll never read an article by Andrew Malcolm again.

This is a perfect example of making up a story line first and then trying to get the data to fit the narrative. As many comments here have pointed out, if the Teabaggers are indeed "pretty average Americans", why does Andrew:

1. Combine Democrats and independents to make it appear that the movement is bipartisan? The headline could just as well have read "Only 17% of Tea Party members are Democrats".

2. In addition to party affiliation, why were the respondents not asked who they voted for in 2008? That would be a the clearest indication of whether this is a new movement or just a bunch of sore losers who didn't like the way the last elections went.

3. It's revealing that 95% of the teabaggers polled said "Democrats are taxing, spending and borrowing too much." Can they name 3 new taxes or new spending items? And if they complain about the TARP or stimulus bills (one of which was passed under Geroge W), why weren't they protesting the huge deficits the Republicans ran up and what would their alternative to the stimulus have been?

It's a shame that reporters continue to sensationalize this bunch of losers, and continue to play read polling tea leaves rather than doing some in depth reporting on what exactly this bunch of confused, bigoted losers want (other than to get the Republicans back in power).

(
(AM responds: Oh, Sam, Sam, we all feel for you. But admire your amazing courage in reading a blog item that you don't agree with. Thanks for coming again.)

Not a big surprise here. It would be nice if the MSM would have the scales fall from their eyes but alas I do believe they are breathing a different kind of air.

And 85% are Republicans or independents. Independents aren't a uniform group, either - it would be interesting to look at the views of the independent Tea Bag members relative to the national average. I would bet considerable money on the independents having views much closer to the Republicans.

This article has a really (deliberately?) misleading headline!

Why is something automatically bad if it is mostly white? Is NAACP automatically bad because it is mostly black? Is La Raza bad because it is mostly latino? Is CAIR bad because it is mostly Muslim? Is B'Nai B'rith bad because it is mostly Jewish?

If blacks don't choose to join the TEA Party Movement, for whatever reason, does that mean the TEA Party has to shut itself down?

A huge amount of the criticism of the Tea Party posted here is about how few blacks are in the group. It's an open group! Blacks are free to join it. Their lack of attendence says more about them than it does the tea party. Blacks, as a group, like entitlement programs. They voted almost exclusively for Obama. As a group they would no more protest Obama then they did OJ Simpson or Marion Barry (remember that black reelected Barry even after he smoked crack on tv with a hooker).

AND the health insurance they purchase at their job is also subsidized (because their employer pays the costs on top of what they charge the employee)

Actaully its part of my wages. Better job = Better Health Benefits. B

AND the subsidized tax benefits they receive as heterosexuals allowed to marry anywhere in this country (

Not True in many cases for the vast majority of Tax paying couples. I won't bring up the EIC for "couples" together that due not get married or the penatly for being married under the new health care Law. I'm sure you know all about that.

Now who is really uninformed?

I attended the April 15 Tea Party in Sacramento last year, and recall the state GOP chair being booed enthusiastically. Everyone cheered Tom McClintock though, for being a budget hawk before it was cool. Smart crowd!

The tea party has also been labeled 'racist' by many msm commentators and even
some democrats in congress. Theese polls will hopefully set to rest those and
other slimy accusations.Democrats are the ones mimicking Joseph Goebles
who said the bigger the lie and the more often it is repeated,the better the chances of it beeing believed.

I guess the writer of this love piece to the tbags, Andrew Malcolm the former Bush/Cheney apparatchik, is probably a Democrat, probably a liberal, and probably African-American or Hispanic. You betcha!

And if comments are monitored by Andrew, my comment will never appear and I'll be sent to the Gulag ...

(AM responds: Pack up, Ed.)

And teapartiers dont really need to care about all the insults the left throw at us (ie. calling us "teabaggers). Unlike a group like Acorn, we dont rely on the government to give us money. We dont rely on political parties, the Dems or GOPs. We're quite self-sufficient. It's our nature. We dont really care if you like us, and that is part of our strength.

But dont you feel a tad hypocritical when you make your hateful remarks and then accuse the teapartiers of being hateful?

Regarding the person who says vote D to go forward. Forward to what? Another "Great Society" where we have generations of family growing up on welfare and not having the faintest sense of how to contribute to the society they live off of?

The biggest problem I see is with the poll itself. Were people even asked if they were familiar with the Tea Party movement before their opinion was solicited? I suspect not, because there's no way African Americans are represented in anywhere near the numbers this poll claims. The secondary problem is the author's eagerness to find what he wants to see in the data.

You need to clarify your statement regarding the Sunday poll. Was it three national polls each contacting 1000 voters for a total of 3000 voters, or was it three surveys contacting a total of 1000 voters? If its the former than 510 of those contacted or 17% were tea party members. If its the latter, then 170 are tea party members.

The Tea Party adherents broke down 28% independent, 17% Democrat and only 57% Republican. What you fail to point out is that the vast majority of independents lean either right or left. If most of the 28% independents in this poll lean right as I suspect, then the tea party movement remains a more conservative, more Republican movement.

Sorry Mr. Malcolm, but your journalism and possibly your math needs some work.

(AM responds: Or, Mr. Ted, you could click on the link provided and figure it out for yourself. That's what it's there for.)

I am a teacher and an ordinary American citizen. I am a Tea Partier!! Can't you see that Obama's people have started a smear campaign about the Tea Party because he sees that it is starting to gain momentum. What happened to Freedom of Speech? The polls show that Tea Party people are well educated. I wonder if it would show that all Obama followers are well educated? We know the TRUE facts and they are scary. Once the rest of the U.S. wises up, they will join us.

re. "Tea Party are average Americans" ??? This headline not only distorts the study it purports to summarize by defies reality, as reflected in other polls of the same audiences:

The Time/CBS Poll of the Tea Party participants has a much more credible assessment of the Party affiliations, where it also asked "How do you usually VOTE?". 66% always or mostly voted GOP (vs. 28% overall), 5% always or mostly voted for the Democratic candidate (vs. 28% overall. 25% said they voted equally for either Party (vs. 31% overall). so rather than being average Americans, the Tea Party participants are Republican. Oh, and as elsewhere reported, they're also white, male, older than 45. Their attitudes are at the very conservative end of the GOP scale, and will even turn on GOP politicians who stray from a hard right position. They are fairly well off economically, and are mostly concerned with protecting what they’ve got (INCLUDING GOVERNMENT-PROVIDED Medicare and Soc Security, but they see no contradiction in that). They are significantly more likely than all adults to say that too much has been made of the problems of blacks, that they don’t believe in Global Climate Change, and thet are generally anti-Choice. See the study for more fascination revelations. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/us/politics/15poll.html?th&emc=th

Did anyone actually read these articles? The title is completely misleading. Most people read this and think that it indicates tea party people are a mix of political opinions. This IS NOT the case when you look at the actual data cited in the article. The bottom line is that the tea party movement is nothing more that a conservative political movement.
Here is why:
1. "41% of the tea party are democrats, independents." This is SOOOO misleading. 41% could mean that 40% are democrats and 1% are independents, or 0% are democrats and 41% are independents. The statement "41% of the tea party are democrats, independents" is meaningless unless you know the split. According to the article, "28% independent, 17% Democrat" is the split.
The number that is telling is 17%. If the article said, "17% of the tea parties are democrat", it wouldn't be something I call "myth busting". That means a MINORITY of people are democrats. Nothing earth shattering here.
2. The gallup poll states "Tea Party supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large". What is the skew? From the gallup article Page 2, 70% of the tea party is conservative. Then it compares it to the general public, 40% are conservative. This shows that the tea party group is overwhelmingly conservative!
People think that demographics include political views it does not! When gallup says, "but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large", it means that age, income, employment of the tea party are no different than the american public as a group. DO NOT THINK THAT DEMOGRAPHICS AND POLITICAL VIEWS ARE THE SAME!!! HUGE ERROR!!!
3. One piece of data I did find interesting though. The tea party isn't a bunch of old people. It actually is representative of all age groups almost identically to the national population. I'll give you that. They aren't all old, but that is irrelevant if you ask me.

This article should have a correction attached. The title should read, "Tea party members overwhelmingly conservative but not as old as you might think".

I'm not sure where the author of this article learned mathematics, but here's a clue: 28% + 17% = 45%. 57% (Republican) > 45% (Independent & Democrat). So, genius, the TEA party is, essentially, a Republican movement. Republicans are hiding, in shame, because they realize that the enlightened Americans know that the Republicans lost touch with the American people a long time ago.

Here's another fun fact for Republicans: The downward spiral this country is in--economically, et. al.--was started and perpetuated by one of your own, George W. Bush. Now that someone else is in there attempting a recovery that is not Washington, D.C. as usual, and who is trying to develop solutions that are out of the box, everyone, and their grandmother, is bashing him.

--Ex-Republican, turned Independent because of Republican politics and agendas.

Go Tea Party!!!!

A Sunday poll -- actually three national phone surveys of 1,000 registered voters -- found that 17% of all polled, or more than 500, called themselves "part of the Tea Party movement."

Unfortunately, 17% of 1,000 registered voters does not equate to more than 500. Simple Math: 1,000 multiplied by 0.17 equals 170.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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