Survey: Most tea partiers are socially conservative, almost half identify with religious right

posted at 10:21 pm on October 5, 2010 by Allahpundit

Reports of the libertarian takeover of the GOP have, it seems, been greatly exaggerated. A single tear rolls down a socially centrist, fiscally conservative, atheist blogger’s cheek…

But the survey challenged much of the other conventional wisdom about Americans who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement:

o Nearly half (47%) also say they are part of the religious right or conservative Christian movement. Among the more than 8-in-10 (81%) who identify as Christian within the Tea Party movement, 57% also consider themselves part of the Christian conservative movement.

o They make up just 11% of the adult population—half the size of the conservative Christian movement (22%).

o They are mostly social conservatives, not libertarians on social issues. Nearly two-thirds (63%) say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, and less than 1-in-5 (18%) support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

o They are largely Republican partisans. More than three-quarters say they identify with (48%) or lean towards (28%) the Republican Party. More than 8-in-10 (83%) say they are voting for or leaning towards Republican candidates in their districts, and nearly three-quarters (74%) of this group report usually supporting Republican candidates.

A word of caution: This same survey finds that 54 percent of voters are more likely to support a candidate if he/she voted for ObamaCare. Hmmmm. On the other hand, WaPo’s new poll also found that more than half of white evangelicals support the tea party, which jibes with the fiscal con/social con overlap described in PRRI’s numbers. There’s no reason to be especially surprised at that — the tea party has in part simply been a way for conservative Republicans to rebrand themselves after souring on the GOP — but with all the attention the movement’s gotten from libertarians, there’s a lingering question as to who really dominates when it comes to non-fiscal matters. The answer, it appears, is conservatives, not libertarians, which we should have known from the response to Beck’s religious rally on the Mall and the hero status accorded among most tea partiers to Jim DeMint, who was last seen insisting that you need a big God to have a small government. Some tea party leaders like Andrew Ian Dodge might not like it, but it is what it is. Exit question: Should we assume that tea partiers trend hawkish in their foreign policy too? If most are simply conservatives by another name, it stands to reason.

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Go ahead and run ads saying you want the govt to be in charge of pregnancy, and watch what happens.

Some people never learn.

Moesart on October 6, 2010 at 1:54 AM

Go ahead and run ads saying you’re all for third-trimester abortions. See which one gets the better response.

ddrintn on October 6, 2010 at 4:37 PM

I wonder just how do socially centrist (lol) people see the government being fiscally conservative in their centrist world. Sorry ain’t buying it.

CWforFreedom on October 6, 2010 at 6:28 AM

What does one have to do with the other?

One deals with government spending, taking money by force from other humans, government power, corruption and pissing our money away.

The other deals with individual morality and personal choices.

Please elaborate further, if you can.

Good Lt on October 6, 2010 at 7:47 AM

Point out to me a few politicians who are social liberals but at the same time are pretty reliably conservative in economic matters.

ddrintn on October 6, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Recreational drugs don’t aim to kill anyone, dedalus. I’m talking intentional destruction of embryos via IVF or ESCR or abortificient pharmaceuticals.

Vera on October 6, 2010 at 4:27 PM

The moral difference in their use is clear. Though, the government tools for stopping the manufacturing and distribution would likely be very similar. Not an argument against doing it, rather just a guess at how big a government effort would be required and whether it would ultimately be successful.

dedalus on October 6, 2010 at 4:40 PM

I don’t think it would have to be all that big. Stop the sale of Ella or RU:486 and tell IVF clinics and researchers they can’t destroy embroys.

Vera on October 6, 2010 at 4:46 PM

So, if this is actually a poll of 18-29 years olds and it found 11 percent of the respondents tea party supporters, only 18 percent support gay marriage and 17 percent support abortion , I’d say that Progressives, Democrats and Allahpundit will be shedding far more than a tear in coming days.

LeeSeneca on October 6, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Off topic but, I have been waiting for a chance to post something pertaining to Chris Coons…

I watched twitter for a week trying to find the best tweets about Chris Coons, and come up with what I am calling the “The Complete Get Christine O’Donnell Elected Kit”

Nearly Nobody on October 6, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Whether or not God exists is immaterial. We are historically better off when we acted as if God existed, as if what we did mattered to God, and if we did not let God run the government.

If there is no God there is no Big Daddy who is going to somehow punish us if we misbehave so there is no downside to misbehavior other than some nebulous “game theory thing” most people do not understand. When there is a real downside with certain if nebulous punishment at some future time one’s behavior improves. But, when that “Big Daddy” runs the government the people who are acting in “Big Daddy’s Name” are tempted beyond human endurance to misbehavior “in the name of Big Daddy” but really to their own benefit.

For best results we need God and Secular in relatively equal measures. One without the other leads to horrible excesses. Each keeps the other’s excesses in check.


herself on October 6, 2010 at 5:55 PM

In short, all you have to do is ask yourself this: If everyone was a prostitute/druggie/had an abortion, etc., would society survive? How about if everyone took responsibility for their own actions, kept their marriage commitments, etc–how would society look then?

Vanceone on October 6, 2010 at 11:14 AM

You’re my new hero! THIS^^^^

Who is John Galt on October 6, 2010 at 7:32 PM

So if almost half of the Tea Party supporters identify with the religious right, then more than half do not.

Words be nimble
Words be quick
Words resemble walking sticks . . .

ace tomato on October 6, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Seems that the site Public Religion has direct ties to the site Progressives and Religion, so I can’t see how this is very credible.

David Block on October 6, 2010 at 11:31 PM

Ah, time for the more-modern-than-thou moderate freak-out.

Axeman on October 7, 2010 at 12:38 AM

Turning back to god is one thing, being nosy busy bodies is something else.

MarkT on October 17, 2010 at 6:03 PM