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article imageTea Party Demographics: White, Republican, Older Male with Money

By Carol Forsloff     Mar 30, 2010 in Politics
Several polls are now out, assessing the demographics of the Tea Party Movement that largely agree the majority of its members are Republican, largely white, above the mean in age and income and voted for John McCain.
So do Tea Party people reflect the average American as they represent themselves? Not usually if you are a middle-aged woman of Hispanic background, an African-American male or a union member in New England just scraping by, according to the polls.
A conservative blogger examined analysis of Tea Party members, citing CNN statistics declaring they are predominantly male, more college educated and higher earners than the general population at large, but not necessarily older or just from the South. A progressive blogger on ThinkProgress looked at the CNN statistics and relayed the same information as the conservative fellow, stating the following:
Turns out that the “tea party” movement sweeping the nation is disproportionately composed of individuals who have higher-than-average incomes. It’s also disproportionately composed of men. And disproportionately composed of white people. And disproportionately composed of self-identified conservatives. And disproportionately composed of self-identified Republicans.
In other words, well-to-do conservative white men don’t much care for Barack Obama’s policies. Which, of course, is something we already knew from the exit polls back in November 2008."
Bloomberg gives a bit more detail in its more current analysis and observes more than 90 percent of Tea Party backers say the U.S. is moving more toward socialism than capitalism, while 70% want more government involvement in job creation. In other words, they don't want the government interfering except in certain designated areas, as they also were found by majorities to want Social Security to remain under government control and didn't see the Veterans Administration as socialism.
A poll is cited by Bloomberg to obtain the results noted, and is the most current with the article by Bloomberg just four days ago. The poll not only presents the results but cites its margin of error and the details of that poll. The poll of 1,002 U.S. adults was conducted March 19-22 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, Iowa. The results had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. What Bloomberg observes from the poll is this:
"Tea Party supporters are likely to be older, white and male. Forty percent are age 55 and over, compared with 32 percent of all poll respondents; just 22 percent are under the age of 35, 79 percent are white, and 61 percent are men. Many are also Christian fundamentalists, with 44 percent identifying themselves as “born-again,” compared with 33 percent of all respondents."
So if you're not an older, white male, Republican, with money and voted for Obama, you're likely not helping bag the tea or preparing to cast it overboard.
More about John McCain, Tea party movement, Bloomberg
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