The Winston Group, whose founder, David Winston, is a former fellow of the Heritage Foundation and who also worked for Newt Gingrich, has released a “new report” that purports to examine the composition and motivation of the Tea Party movement.
Using three national surveys of 1000 registered voters (over three months), the Winston Group “captured a subgroup of respondents identifying themselves as part of the ‘Tea Party’ movement.”
It turns out that the “subgroup” of people who self-identified as Teapartiers amounted to 511 folks, a mere 17% of the total.
As for the findings: Surprise! Teapartiers tend to be older, conservative, and Republican. Wow! I couldn’t have guessed that.
Oh, by the way, the study also found,
…almost three out of four Tea Party members anticipate that they will vote for a Republican candidate for Congress.
I’m shocked! 75% will vote for a Republican? What a stunning finding! Next we will find out that Teapartiers are mostly white!
The most telling question asked in the survey was what Teapartiers think of Barack Obama. The results will probably shock you, but, guess what? Teabaggers don’t like him:
|Obama Job Approval Tea Party (Feb 2010) Overall (Feb 2010)Approve 17 49
Disapprove 81 44
So, what we have in the Tea Party movement, to no one’s real surprise, is essentially a “We Hate Obama” movement.
Sure, the study makes a valiant effort to demonstrate that the movement is all about the “economy and jobs” and the “national deficit and spending,” and, no doubt, there are honest Teapartiers who have a genuine concern over our economic future.
How else do you explain the public displays of handwringing and fretting over fiscal issues and the simultaneous admission that in the upcoming election Teapartiers are going to vote for Republicans?
Republicans!—the same party that has brought us to our fiscal knees in terms of the national debt and nearly wrecked the entire economy when they were last in power.
Look. Suppose you asked me what my biggest fear was, and I answered: “I am afraid my son will get involved in drugs.” Fine, you say. That is a legitimate concern these days.
But then you ask me what I’m going to do to help ensure he won’t get involved in drugs in the future, and I say: “I’m going to encourage him to befriend the neighborhood drug dealer.” You then have a legitimate right to question whether my concerns about his involvement in drugs is legitimate.
Such is the state of the Tea Party movement in these challenging times. The nasty placards, the spitting, the hurling of epithets—regular components of Tea Party gatherings—may actually say more about the movement than the Winston Group’s survey could ever say.