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Tea-party backers’ views are far from the norm, polls find

Published: Wed, November 24, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press


Tea-party backers fashion themselves as “we the people,” but polls show the Republican Party’s most-conservative and energized voters are hardly your average crowd.

According to an Associated Press-GfK Poll this month, 84 percent who call themselves tea- party supporters don’t like how President Barack Obama is handling his job — a view shared by just 35 percent of all other adults. Tea-partiers are about four times likelier than others to back repealing Obama’s health-care overhaul and twice as likely to favor renewing tax cuts for the highest- earning Americans.

Exit polls of voters in this month’s congressional elections reveal similar gulfs. Most tea-party supporters — 86 percent — want less government intrusion on people and businesses, but only 35 percent of other voters said so. Tea-party backers were about five times likelier to blame Obama for the country’s economic ills, three times likelier to say Obama’s policies will be harmful and twice as apt to see the country on the wrong track.

These aren’t subtle shadings between tea-party backers and the majority of Americans, who don’t support the movement; they’re Grand Canyon-size chasms.

With Republicans running the House next year, the findings highlight the delicate dance facing leaders who will have to address tea-party concerns without alienating moderate voters who will be crucial in 2012, when the GOP hopes to win the White House and boost its strength on Capitol Hill.

One certainty: There are too many tea-party supporters for politicians to ignore, especially for Republicans. About 3 in 10 adults in the AP-GfK Poll call themselves tea-party backers, including 60 percent of Republicans. In the exit poll in this month’s election, which saw high conservative turnout, 4 in 10 voiced tea-party support, and 2 of every 3 GOP votes came from them.

Those are impressive numbers, though leaders of the loosely organized movement sometimes seem to imply that their views enjoy an even broader consensus. Tea party supporters emblazon “We the People,” the opening of the preamble to the Constitution, on banners at demonstrations and on merchandise their groups sell.

GOP pollster Steve Lombardo says it will be a challenge for Republican leaders to find policies that will deliver “a two-fer for independents and more-extreme elements” of the party. He and other Republicans say the answer is to focus on areas of broad agreement such as curbing federal spending, taxes and deficits.


1Woody(491 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

So according to this article there is a significant number of people, 35%, who support the positions of the tea parties, but don't call themselves tea partiers. Sounds to me that the next congress should push an agenda that is in line with the tea party thinking.

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2Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Tea party = KKK and everybody knows it. They could care less about the economy that is just a cover up . It is sad that so many good people fell for their line

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3Woody(491 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago


HOW DARE YOU!!! You have no right to tell me what I think. Keep spouting the same line, the tea party is racist, the tea party is racist. There maybe a few members who are, but you get that in any group. Need I remind you that Sen. Robert Byrd, was a grand keggle in the KKK and he was a Democrat.

The tea party helped to elect an American of Cuban decent in Florida to the US Senate, and also an American of African decent to congress from the same state.

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4JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

"The tea party helped to elect an American of Cuban decent in Florida to the US Senate, and also an American of African decent to congress from the same state."

But the large number of Cubans and blacks living there had nothing to do with it, right? Your moronic statement sums up the whole group of people with whom you associate.

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5Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Woody I have every right to say what I feel . The tea party = KKK If you do not like it that is to bad . I have been to 10 + tea parties. How many have you been to ???? And seen it with my own eyes . IT IS THE KKK REBORN .If you wish to look the other way so be it .

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6Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

JeffLebowski I live 4 months a year in Fl. and you are Right .The right is wrong all a long Turn off Fox . Bad for America Just hate for the black guy .

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7Woody(491 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago


I have been to a number of them as well. I know people that go.

Say you disagree with the message that the tea party is spreading about limited government, low taxes, and personal accountability. That is fine. But for you to sit there and tell me I am a racist is ignorant and a smoke screen. 99% of the people I have seen at the tea party are good, decent people. I have seen people of every race.

And yes the Cubans and the Blacks did help to elect those individuals. I never said the tea parties were solely responsible. But tea party members also worked phone banks, made donations, went door to door.

They did not stay at home. They did not vote for the "white guy" as the case with Charlie Crist in Florida.

The district that Allen West won in is 82% white. So I think the racist tea party probably had a lot to do with him getting elected. West out raised his incumbent opponet almost 2 to 1. A lot coming from out of state.


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8Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Woody I did not say you are a racist .But most of the people in charge I have seen at the tea party are racist, that act like decent people. Please go to the meetings after the show . If you can not see that, then they have pulled the wool over your eyes . How many parties have you been to , I have been to ones in Oh. Fl. GA. and MI . I have been in the back rooms and heard the leaders . Not the show for TV. If you have done as much then you can tell me what the tea party is . I was one of the biggest supporters when they started out and believe me it has changed . But I can see you will not change your mine so have a great Holiday and GOD Bless you and yours

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9Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

So wrong today

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10Woody(491 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago


I have not been back stage.

What was said? Do you have audio or video? Doesn anyone? I bet there is a lot of media groups that would pay big money for it.

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