Four in 10 Tea Party members are either Democrats or Independents, according to a new national survey.Not quite the demographics pushed by, well, everyone. Everyone on the Left anyway. Of course, if you actually attend a Tea Party event it becomes oblivious rather quickly that they are made up of a diverse group of people whose major commonality is a desire to get government out of their lives.
The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democratic, according to three national polls by the Winston Group, a Republican-leaning firm that conducted the surveys on behalf of an education advocacy group. Two-thirds of the group call themselves conservative, 26 are moderate and 8 percent say they are liberal…The Tea Party represents an ideology of what government should be. Yes, the Tea Party does lean towards the Republican Party but that does not mean that Republican’s can count on their vote. Republicans who veer towards the same old big government tax and spend coupled with heavy regulation (paging Sen. Graham) can find themselves in a world of trouble with the Tea Party members.
…The group is united around two issues – the economy/jobs and reducing the deficit. They believe that cutting spending is the key to job creation and favor tax cuts as the best way to stimulate the economy. That said 61 percent of Tea Party members believe infrastructure spending creates jobs. Moreover, given the choice Tea Party members favor 63-32 reducing unemployment to 5 percent over balancing the budget.
It isn’t a “purely homogeneous” group, said Winston.
The group has a favorable view of Republicans generally but that drops from 71 to 57 percent if they’re asked about Congressional Republicans. Congressional Democrats are viewed very unfavorably by 75 percent of Tea Party members – a uniquely strong antipathy. An overwhelming 95 percent said “Democrats are taxing, spending, and borrowing too much.”
The group also vehemently dislikes President Barack Obama – even more so than those who called themselves Republicans in the survey. Over 80 percent of Tea Party members disapprove of the job he’s doing as president, whereas 77 percent of Republican respondents said they disapprove of Obama. The Tea Party members are also strongly opposed to the Democrats’ healthcare plan, with 82 percent saying they oppose it -- only 48 percent of respondents overall were opposed.
Least surprising is that there are Democrats who have become Tea Party activists. Not all Democrats are Barack Obama Socialist Liberals. Many, who have never voted for a Republican in their lives, are deeply unhappy with the direction that their party has taken.
Regardless of the makeup of the Tea Party, it has become a force to be reckoned with. One can either rail against it, ala The New York Times and MSNBC, or make fun of it ala Maher, but ignore it strictly at your own peril.