Thursday, April 15, 2010

No, Virginia, The Tea Party Is Not As Diverse As A Benetton Ad

A New York Times/CBS poll finds that Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more educated than the population at large. Not surprisingly, the poll also finds that the group's typical supporters are Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.  Whites, men and conservatives are concentrated in the Republican Party. Thus, the poll results are not shocking -- although a couple of recent polls attempt to portray the Tea Party movement as a diverse Benetton ad.

Given their age, it is also not surprising that most Tea Party supporters believe that Social Security and Medicare are worth the expense. Along with defense spending, these two categories account for 53% of spending by the federal government. It is unclear how the federal government could substantially reduce spending and taxes without cuts to the largest categories of expenditure. The poll results also suggest that people disagree with government spending -- unless they directly benefit from the spending program.  The contradictory conservative rallying cry "keep the government out of my Medicare" sums up that principle.  Less is best unless there's more for me.

Hullabaloo has more comprehensive analysis of the poll results.

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