Monday, April 5, 2010

Recent Polling finds more than Neo-Con’s within the Tea Party Movement

For the past year I have heard to mantra of racism, bigotry, and right-wing extremist tied to the Tea Party movement. When I have asked those espousing the mantra about the source of their conclusions very few are from firsthand accounts of the Tea Party events. I witnessed one such Tea Party event last year in St. Paul and even blogged about it. While I agree with many points the Tea Party movement was pushing that day, I did not enlist as my independent spirit still struggles with party affiliation. This morning as the kids were reading themselves for school and while watching Morning Joe I came across and interesting article in the Los Angeles Times about the a recent poll conducted.

The LA Times reported that Tea Party members "are average Americans, 41% are Democrats, independents" (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/04/tea-party-obama.html). The ironic part of the poll results is that it runs contrary to the mantra being drummed up by the mass media and Progressives as to who "belongs" to the Tea Party. It was a series of three national phone surveys done yesterday that resulted in 17% of those polled identified themselves "part of the Tea Party movement."

Could it be true that the Tea Party is actually comprised of average Americans just fed up with the growing size of government, rising debt, the absence of fiscal responsibility in Washington, and the threat of increasing taxes? According to the LA Times article the breakdown was "28% independent, 17% Democrat and only 57% Republican." Gallup's Lydia Sadd wrote, "[Tea Party members] age, educational background, employment status, and race – Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large." What I am curious about is how many people polled on Sunday identified themselves as Coffee Party members. The fact that 41% of those identifying themselves part of the Tea Party movement raised concern for both major parties as the mid-term elections draw near. Could a third party emerge in November? Will the Tea Party folks be the swing group? Or will the demonizing of the Tea Party continue? Will they continue to be painted by the mantra even though more and more independent and Democrat minded folks are joining?