Now, comes a pair of polls, including Gallup, that paint a revealing detailed portrait of Tea Party supporters in most ways as pretty average Americans. A Sunday poll — actually three national phone surveys of 1,000 registered voters — found that 17% of all polled, or more than 500, called themselves “part of the Tea Party movement.”
“It’s a good sample size,” David Winston, polling director of the Winston Group that did the poll for an education advocacy group, told the Ballot Box blog of The Hill newspaper.
The Tea Party adherents broke down 28% independent, 17% Democrat and only 57% Republican. Not coincidentally, this bipartisan breakdown has been the way that Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin has often described movement members as “commonsense Americans” worried and….
…angered by the over-reaching one-party control of Democrats in Washington these last 15 months, rooted initially in opposition to Obama’s $787 billion government economic stimulus package.
A new Gallup Poll out this morning of 1,033 finds nothing fringe about self-proclaimed Tea Party adherents; they are slightly more likely to be employed, male and definitely more conservative. But otherwise Gallup’s Lydia Saad writes, “their age, educational background, employment status, and race — Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large.”
And, surprise! They are more unhappy with Obama and the Democrats than even Republicans are. They are worried about jobs, the economy and completely out-of-control spend and tax behavior by the Democrat-controlled Congress. But they are not particularly enamored with the current crop of Republicans, either.
So there are a lot of challenges ahead for the Republicans. The tea party must – absolutely must – get involved in candidate selection. But their natural home is with the Republicans – if they can get their demands for fiscal responsibility ingrained into the Republican agenda.
There is a lot of work ahead, folks. But these polls should be making a lot of Democrats – and a fair number of Republicans – sweat.