The Scientific Activist

A More Reality-Based Poll

Remember that strikingly inept poll analysis about the Tea Party movement from The New York Times last month? Well, the new Washington Post-ABC News poll addresses the same topic, and the Post’s analysis seems to actually be rooted in reality:

The conservative “tea party” movement appeals almost exclusively to supporters of the Republican Party, bolstering the view that the tea party divides the GOP even as it has energized its base.

That conclusion, backed by numbers from a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, also suggests that the tea party may have little room for growth. Most Americans — including large majorities of those who don’t already count themselves as supporters — say they’re not interested in learning more about the movement. A sizable share of those not already sympathetic to the tea party also say that the more they hear, the less they like the movement.

Overall, the tea party remains divisive, with 27 percent of those polled saying they’re supportive but about as many, 24 percent, opposed. Supporters overwhelmingly identify themselves as Republicans or GOP-leaning independents; opponents are even more heavily Democratic. The new movement is also relatively small, with 8 percent of supporters claiming to be “active participants” — about 2 percent of the total population.

(Emphasis added by me.)

These numbers are somewhat similar to last month’s New York Times-CBS News poll, which found that 18% of Americans support the Tea Party movement. Despite the Times doing as much as it could to hype these results, I pointed out that this wasn’t very meaningful, since that poll found that 78% of these “supporters” had never attended a Tea Party rally or meeting or donated money to the Tea Party cause. So, doing a little math, we find that about 4% of people could be labeled as active Tea Partiers based on that poll (compared with 2% in the current Washington Post poll).

The difference in both of these numbers (27% vs. 18% for supporters, 4% vs. 2% for active participants) could be due to a real drop in support for and participation in the Tea Party movement, or just a difference between the two polls. My point in bringing it up is that The Washington Post’s analysis actually makes sense.

On the side, it is also of note that there’s some good news in the poll for the Democratic Party:

The percentage of people who say the Democratic Party represents their personal values and is in tune with the problems of people like themselves hasn’t changed since November. The percentage siding with the GOP, however, has dropped by almost precisely the numbers now siding with the tea party.

Some 14 percent of Americans say the tea party is most in sync with their values, nearly matching the 15 percentage-point drop-off for the GOP over the past five months.

For more, check out a graphic on the poll results here and the full poll results here.

Comments

  1. #1 Rob Jase
    May 6, 2010

    Tea Party losing members?

    But just look at the millions of them out there protesting socialist federal aid for Nashville & the Gulf Coast.

    There they are right over ….

  2. #2 FunkUniversity
    May 8, 2010

    It sounds as if the WP’s poll got it about right.

    The politcal context of the Tea Party along with a description of its development and likely evolution is presented in an excellent article noted below.

    http://funks2.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/the-trip-to-nowhere-on-the-tea-party-express/

  3. #3 notedscholar
    May 8, 2010

    Just goes to show what you can do with statistics. It seems like you just accept the polls which accord better with your wishes. You don’t want the Tea party to have mass appeal! Therefore, you deny polls showing that.

    Cheers,
    NS

  4. #4 Kirsten
    April 22, 2011

    Sometimes polls went wrong of the right side. But at all polls are good for judge any types of decision. I love to take part on poll. Thank you for the article.

  5. #5 Realscienceexperience
    May 12, 2011

    Hello scientific activist readers!

    Here is another great blog for you to enjoy: realscienceexperience.wordpress.com

    The Real Science Experience is a blog written by university students who have come from various backgrounds (and countries) and have followed the Bachelor of Science down different pathways from undergraduates to masters. On this blog we discuss what it is really like to study science at a tertiary level.

  6. #6 seslichat
    June 19, 2011

    Amerikalıların bazıları yüzde 14 çay partisi neredeyse son beş ayda GOP için yüzde 15 puanlık düşüş-off eşleşen, kendi değerleri ile senkronize en söylüyorlar.

  7. Dave Beattie, a Florida-based pollster who conducts surveys for Democratic candidates, said the reasons for the decline in favorable views of the tea party are myriad. Not only has the newness of the tea party brand worn off, Beattie said, but rank-and-file voters have grown weary of its politics.