Poll: Tea Party Supporters Predisposed to Intolerance

Survey disproves myth of post-racial America

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A sign at a Tea Party rally. (Source: Pargon/Flickr)

A sign at a Tea Party rally. (Source: Pargon/Flickr) (Click to enlarge)

Once again, the myth of the election of Barack Obama as president of the U.S. ushering in a post-racial society has been disproved.

In a recent survey, the Tea Party movement, which is opposed to big government and fiscal irresponsibility, also appears predisposed to intolerance, according to University of Washington political scientist Christopher Parker.

Approximately 45% of whites either strongly or somewhat approve of the movement. Of those, only 35% believe blacks to be hardworking, only 45% believe blacks are intelligent, and only 41% think that blacks are trustworthy. Their perceptions of Latinos aren’t much better. While 54% of white Tea Party supporters believe Latinos to be hardworking, only 44% think them intelligent, and even fewer, 42% of Tea Party supporters believe Latinos to be trustworthy.

White Tea Party supporters don’t reserve their negative attitudes for just people of color. Gays and lesbians also get their fair share of intolerance. Only 36% of white Tea Partiers think gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt children, and just 17% are in favor of same-sex marriage.

However, the results of the survey have been challenged, according to the researchers, specifically the point that supporters of the movement appear racially intolerant. Researchers acknowledge that the “relationship between support for the Tea Party and racial resentment is more about the relatively conservative politics of Tea Partiers than racism.”

Ultimately, the researchers concluded that support for the tea party informs supporters’ view of marginalized groups in American society.

“As the results indicate, supporting the tea party (or refusal to do so) appears to color how people see blacks, immigrants, and gay rights. In each case, across the range of support for the tea party movement, including those who had never heard of it, the true believers register relatively intolerant views.”

The poll surveyed 1,015 residents of Nevada, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, and California, and was conducted in Feburary and March. The survey found that 30% of respondents had never heard of the tea party, but among those who had, 32% strongly approved of it.

  • Gregg Choate

    I am not, nor will be a racist, as God created all races equal.
    I am against Obama as President for the reasons of him being for abortion, a socialist and totally incompetent as a leader..
    I believe in equal justice, not social justice. God Himself puts leaders into office and determines their length of service. I do not like the media or anyone else playing the race card to push their agenda. I know several black Amercans who are members of the Tea Party, and reports such as this only prove that racism is kept alive by those who feel it’s their only defense which indicates their own insecurity being at max levels. Obama ran on the platform of change, but neglected to make it clear that his idea of change was socialism. Socialism has never worked in any country that adopted it as the way to “free” their people, and it won’t work here in America.
    It is my prayer that all who believe that Obama is the ‘savior’ would come to their senses and grow up, get up off their couches and actually work for their living instead of expecting the government to subsidize them in a generational welfare state. Shame on ANYONE who plays the race card to defend outright incompetence, unwillingness to work and to incite racism in easily manipulatible people because of their ignorance. Education is expensive, but ignorance costs far more in the long term. But who’s thinking long term? As long as the government sends money for food and housing, why should gainful employment be sought? I am thoroghly disgusted with ANYONE and ANY group that plays the race card. This isn’t 1860 America, and people of all races can choose any profession they like. Touble is, they don’t want to pursue it because it takes work. I’ve owned my own compoany for 17+ years and know full well what sacrifice is, and have always said, if someone else can do the job better, no matter their race, hire them. I’ve just run into more of “No, I get money from the government, why work? Shame on them and their lazy, apathetic attitudes!!! This is why 5th and 6th generation welfare families exist. A total attitude of expectation for others to fulfill their needs instead of desiring to be self-supportive. But then again, environment shapes the youth. Maybe less free money and more work for it for self respect. It takes more than desire to be self supportive, it takes work. Work is taboo word for progressive liberal socialists. Maybe it will take the US having a complete meltdown for this to be realized. When Clinton was President, he was the worst so far, until Obama. Now he has become a laughingstock among other world leaders, as well as the majority of people who voted for him. I know white and blacks both who regret voting for him, and quite frankly, he needs to be impeached for the colossal decisions of incompetence he has exihibited since taking office. Shame on you for printing opinionated, unfounded, racist drivel in your magazine about the Tea Party!!! God has already deemed homosexuality and abortion as wrong and there is no one in this world who’s opinion matters more than His. Polls are worthless when only a select ed group of one-sided people are polled having the same views of the pollsters. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have done nothing to convince anyone that people of color are desiring better. They only prove that the only answer to any intelligent question is to sit and whine about racism. Why provide an intelligible answer, when a defense of racism (which shows blatant ignorance) can be provided? I do not accept either as ministers of the Gospel, but racist men who have capitalized on the ignorant of society. They may mean well, but even the best intentions do not validate inciting racism, keeping a rift open between race relations for their benefit of getting to stand behind a microphone again. They will someday answer for their works, as well as all who agree with them. Racism is a problem, but is kept alive by ‘leaders’ such as these. Real, honest, hard working Americans are offended by these men and their rhetoric, and by magazine articles such as this against the Tea Party. Maybe it would be better to poll real, hard woking Americans than 5th and 6th generation welfare recipients. You I’m sure would be surprised to know real truth, not truth that you say it is. Sign me as disgusted and ashamed in attitudes such as yours and those you promote.

    By the way, if a person comes into this country illegally, they are not trustworthy and not eligible to be polled. They are only eligible to be shown the exit back to where they came from. When they go through the right channels to be here legally and do so, then they are eligible to give their opinion.

  • JD

    The problem with publishing an aritcle based on a single poll is that the article is slanted unto itself, as well as leaving out other vital facts. A quick google search shows many polls in direct confict with your article. Statistics change daily, each becoming obsolete almost immediately. As a new movement, the TP will continue to undergo many changes as it grows, much as the Revolution did many years ago. If everyone, whites and minorities alike, were to become more involved in our country’s politics, all parties would be answerable to the people. What Americans fail to understand, is that we ARE the government. It is not a separate entity unto itself. We elect our leaders. We vote laws into effect. We CAN make a difference. This very sentiment is what got Obama elected, as well as the poor performance of the Bush’s terms. I am not for or against the TP, and will support our President simply because he is our leader, but I do not agree with many of his policies. I do believe it is past the time for Americans to wake up and do something. I challenge everyone to become more informed and take action.

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