Pew poll: Major swing against government surveillance among tea partiers

posted at 11:21 am on July 29, 2013 by Allahpundit

If you’ve been following the Christie-versus-Paul “battle for the soul of the GOP” meme since Friday, don’t miss this important gloss from Pew. How major has the “major swing” among tea partiers been? Feast your eyes:

tp1

Three years ago, at least a plurality of every ideological segment except moderate Democrats thought the feds didn’t go far enough to protect the country. Three years later, nearly every segment has swung the other way. The only holdouts are moderate Democrats (oddly) and moderate Republicans. More specifically, non-tea-party Republicans tilt 41/43 towards thinking the feds haven’t done enough to protect the country; among tea partiers, the tilt is … 55/31 towards thinking they’ve gone too far in restricting civil liberties, a 35-point(!) swing since 2010. That’s what a battle for the soul of the party looks like — a double-digit spread among the centrist and conservative wings on a key point of national security.

Normally I’d dismiss a turnaround as sharp as that as driven by partisan reaction to the White House. Elect a Democratic president and you’ll see Dems warm to his counterterror program and Republicans sour on it, no matter how much it resembles the last GOP administration’s program. But Pew’s reference point here isn’t an earlier poll taken during the Bush era; it’s 2010, nearly two years into Hopenchange. This shift has happened entirely on Obama’s watch. And it’s not just Republicans who’ve decided that the feds have gone too far. A narrow plurality of Democrats now agree. It’s bipartisan and it’s recent — although it’s most pronounced on the right:

tp2

On the specific question of NSA surveillance, the tea party is net -28 and the rest of the GOP is +6, which raises two questions. One: How does Chris Christie or Rand Paul bridge that gap as nominee in 2016? I’m tempted to say that it won’t matter much, that government spying is, for better or worse, a marginal issue in a primary vis-a-vis cutting spending, immigration reform, etc, but it won’t be marginal next time thanks to Paul’s presence in the race and prominent hawks’ insistence on attacking him early. Gonna be a lot of hard feelings when the dust settles; who knows what that means for the general election. Two, more importantly: Why such a shift against surveillance since 2010? Much of it, I assume, is recent, a reaction to Snowden’s revelations about the extent of the spying. But I think Paul’s ascendance is another factor, at least on the right — not because the NSA was a major talking point for him until this year but because his prominence as a defender of the tea party is bound to make tea partiers more sympathetic to his overall agenda on civil liberties. That’s been his plan all along, to turn the TP from a movement focused narrowly on spending and taxes into a broader libertarian movement. He’s made major inroads on that if Pew’s data is right. How durable that influence will be if/when America elects another Republican president and the White House insists on maintaining robust surveillance, I don’t know. Some of this is being driven by antipathy to, and distrust of, Obama specifically. The question is how much.

Having said all that, I want you to click and eyeball the first graph on Pew’s page. Skepticism among the general public abounds about whether court oversight of the NSA program is adequate, whether the data collected is being used properly, whether the government’s collecting only metadata or something more — and yet, when push comes to shove, 50 percent approve of the program versus 44 percent who disapprove. Among people who think the government has read their own personal communications, 40 percent nonetheless support surveillance. That’s right in line with last week’s WaPo poll which found 51 percent think the NSA program is justified versus 40 percent who think it isn’t, even though a chunk of that 51 percent also think the program is too intrusive. That is to say, there’s some segment of the public that supports the surveillance state despite being under no illusions about its perils. They know they’re being spied on, they don’t like it, but they’re willing to tolerate it in the name of catching bad guys. The only way to move the needle on that, I think, is if a Republican is elected in 2016 and the tea party maintains its robust opposition to surveillance. In that case, a bunch of Democrats will swing from support to opposition on partisan grounds and that, along with the tea party’s opposition, will make a new majority. Is the tea party likely to be that steadfast, even with a GOPer in the White House? You tell me.


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Obama=Phony *

Phony Scandal

faraway on July 29, 2013 at 11:50 AM

* My first thought, as well.

freedomfirst on July 29, 2013 at 1:35 PM

you know Paul isn’t the only major political figure to come out strongly against the NSA spying. Palin, Cruz and others. I understand you want to make this a Paul vs rinos thread but the truth is it is 100 times bigger than Paul.

Imo the leadership picked to go after Paul and not the others and try to tie this issue with him because Paul is the most outside the mainstream and they wish to tar this movement with the most extreme on it. I think they miscalculated on how many people can’
t stand the leadership. I m not a big Paul supporter but when it comes to either supporting Paul or allowing the fed gov to know my every more I’ll support Paul all day long.

unseen on July 29, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Ted Cruz was on The Andrea Tantaros Show this morning and while avoiding a direct attack on Chris Christie, he responded to Christie’s attacks on Rand Paul by pointing out that the principles of liberty are the foundation of this country. He also explained why this is our last chance to stop Obamacare and says if 1 million people call their Senator or Representative in the next 60 days demanding that they not fund Obamacare in the upcoming CR right, he believes we can make it happen.

http://therightscoop.com/ted-cruz-responds-to-chris-christie-the-principles-of-liberty-are-the-foundation-of-this-country/

unseen on July 29, 2013 at 1:39 PM

I do find it funny the same people defending the NSA in the gop will not vote to defund Obamacare. Coincidence? I think not.

unseen on July 29, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Sarah Palin ✔ @SarahPalinUSA

Greenwald on James Clapper: It’s Amazing He Hasn’t Been Prosecuted and Still Has His Job http://fb.me/27bmLlBFw

11:04 AM – 29 Jul 2013

unseen on July 29, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Where did I say that I would support narcotic-induced reckless driving? I didn’t. Drunk driving laws don’t prevent drunk driving. THEY PUNISH IT. The same would be true of narcotics.

As long as you hurt neither me nor any other innocent person, I don’t care what you do.

Resist We Much on July 29, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Get me, now?

You are extremely conflicted, aren’t you?

astonerii on July 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

get rid of the illusion of security and accept the realities of war.

Valkyriepundit on July 29, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Too many in our midst will wait for someone else to take care of it for them, that is how they live their lives.

aceinstall on July 29, 2013 at 2:01 PM

unseen on July 29, 2013 at 1:37 PM

I think you are hitting the bullseye here.

aceinstall on July 29, 2013 at 2:05 PM

I think you are hitting the bullseye here.

aceinstall on July 29, 2013 at 2:05 PM

It’s the only thing that makes sense. This movement has the possibility of uniting many different groups under the same banner much like the Tea party had the potential to do. And the leadership is trying to kill it stillborn. they are trying to separate the weakest from the herd to weaken the entire herd. so to speak.

unseen on July 29, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Where did I say that I would support narcotic-induced reckless driving? I didn’t. Drunk driving laws don’t prevent drunk driving. THEY PUNISH IT. The same would be true of narcotics.

As long as you hurt neither me nor any other innocent person, I don’t care what you do.

Resist We Much on July 29, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Get me, now?

You are extremely conflicted, aren’t you?

astonerii on July 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Not at all. I don’t support narcotic-induced reckless driving any more than I support alcohol-induced reckless driving. Drug laws no more prevent the former than drunk driving laws prevent the latter. The law PUNISHES it. That’s the point.

You believe that drug laws will somehow do what alcohol laws haven’t: Prevent behaviour that harms other people or puts them in danger. You have no ‘freedom’ to do either and I’ve never claimed that you do.

Resist We Much on July 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM

The law PUNISHES it. That’s the point.

You believe that drug laws will somehow do what alcohol laws haven’t: Prevent behaviour that harms other people or puts them in danger. You have no ‘freedom’ to do either and I’ve never claimed that you do.

Resist We Much on July 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM

SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one:
-Paine Common Sense

too many I think have forgotten this very basic truth. Gov punishes and it only punishes. It is some friendly uncle same that gives you treats when yo0u visit. It’s a stern task master that gets it way by punishing you into submission.

unseen on July 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM

^^ it ISN”T some friendly uncle. Damn typos.

unseen on July 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM

The IRS scandal is the glue bringing the tea party over to Rand.

If Obama was an honest opponent and not a thief, liar and criminal on a scale beyond Nixon, you wouldn’t see the swing. Tea Party looks at national security as a clearly established enumerated power appropriate for govt to dominate.

But this is a reaction to Obama the crook – not just Obama the democrat.

It took Nixon to go to China – perhaps it takes Obama to fully discredit the progressive wing.

Zomcon JEM on July 29, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Never vote for any politician who thinks domestic spying is OK, as in constitutional.
No matter which party. This is a redline issue for me. Might even make me into a single issue voter.
Take note Paul Ryan, you’ll NOT be getting my vote here in WI for your reelection or should you be foolish enough to run for President.

elkchess on July 29, 2013 at 2:51 PM

The only holdouts are moderate Democrats (oddly) and moderate Republicans.

They scale it Moderate/Conservative for the Ds and Moderate/Liberal for the Rs. The numbers are the same, similar. So we’re looking at a puddle in the middle relative mid-point of the road?

So, this is Bluegill? The NSA is AOK peeps?

Hard to get my head around their point of view.

Axe on July 29, 2013 at 4:25 PM

You believe that drug laws will somehow do what alcohol laws haven’t: Prevent behaviour that harms other people or puts them in danger. You have no ‘freedom’ to do either and I’ve never claimed that you do.

Resist We Much on July 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM

So . . . you don’t believe people doing drugs around you harms or puts you in danger, then . . . that’s your line. Hard drugs too?

I skipped that thread. I should probably go back and read it, but — I skipped it for a reason. :)

Axe on July 29, 2013 at 5:01 PM

So . . . you don’t believe people doing drugs around you harms or puts you in danger, then . . . that’s your line. Hard drugs too?

Axe on July 29, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Operative words being ‘around you.’

Resist We Much on July 29, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Operative words being ‘around you.’

Resist We Much on July 29, 2013 at 5:16 PM

But Soph –

Wait. I think I’ll write this up. :)

Axe on July 29, 2013 at 5:32 PM

OT:

Police: Woman Arrested in DC Cathedral Vandalism

The woman was arrested in the area of the cathedral shortly after the paint was found, Assistant D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said. Investigators were hoping to question her about the vandalism on the Mall, including at the Lincoln Memorial, but a language barrier delayed the interrogation, Newsham said.

Resist We Much on July 29, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Not at all. I don’t support narcotic-induced reckless driving any more than I support alcohol-induced reckless driving. Drug laws no more prevent the former than drunk driving laws prevent the latter. The law PUNISHES it. That’s the point.

You believe that drug laws will somehow do what alcohol laws haven’t: Prevent behaviour that harms other people or puts them in danger. You have no ‘freedom’ to do either and I’ve never claimed that you do.

Resist We Much on July 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM

You don’t think that the threat of prosecution and punishment discourages driving while impaired, and works as a deterrent to same?

I invite you to look at the table on page 7 at this link. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810942.pdf

The crackdown on drunk driving has made a serious difference in the frequency of it.

There are similar statistics on crimes committed with guns. When they are prosecuted, with stiff penalties, then gun crime goes down. Having laws against activities does decrease the frequency of said activities, whether you want to admit that or not.

JannyMae on July 29, 2013 at 6:12 PM

JannyMae on July 29, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Your link proves my point. The law does not PREVENT crime. It punishes it. It may also, in some cases, act as a deterrent for some, but it does not prevent the behaviour for all. If it did, there would be no drug users. If it did, Prohibition would have worked.

The conversation was not about ‘deterrence.’ It was about prevention v punishment.

I will tell you what I told whomever it was, if you want to ban drugs, then at least do it the constitutional way through the amendment process rather than using the Commerce Clause.

I repeat….

According to the CDC, ’112 million times a year alcohol-impaired drivers put you at risk.’

In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. To put that into perspective, there were 11,078 gun-related homicides that year.

First look at repealing the Twenty-First Amendment? /

Resist We Much on July 29, 2013 at 6:23 PM

For my family the issue is pretty simple…I would much rather take my chances in avoiding terror (especially when the government refuses to profile) than face the absolute certainty of abuse by my own government.

JIMV on July 29, 2013 at 6:26 PM

OT/I hope Ace gets my joke and doesn’t block my ass. Imagine? Ace blocking you? My self esteem might never recover. And that would be terrible since my ego’s gravity keeps the moon in orbit.

For my family the issue is pretty simple…I would much rather take my chances in avoiding terror (especially when the government refuses to profile) than face the absolute certainty of abuse by my own government.

JIMV on July 29, 2013 at 6:26 PM

I’m with you. And a little further. I’m willing to put up with a certain quantity of mayhem, if I get otherwise to live free, if somewhere between a quarter billion and half a billion people get otherwise to live free.

Axe on July 29, 2013 at 6:37 PM

I will protect myself against terrorists, thank you. Abolish the NSA. If terrorists strike the US in any significant ways, I think the population will take care of things.

they lie on July 29, 2013 at 6:42 PM

it won’t be marginal next time thanks to Paul’s presence in the race and prominent hawks’ insistence on attacking him early.

They are not hawks. They are chickenhawks and fascists.

VorDaj on July 29, 2013 at 8:33 PM

OT:

Police: Woman Arrested in DC Cathedral Vandalism

The woman was arrested in the area of the cathedral shortly after the paint was found, Assistant D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said. Investigators were hoping to question her about the vandalism on the Mall, including at the Lincoln Memorial, but a language barrier delayed the interrogation, Newsham said.

Resist We Much on July 29, 2013 at 5:43 PM

…the Tea Party again!

KOOLAID2 on July 29, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Pew poll: Major swing against government surveillance among tea partiers

…wonder why?

KOOLAID2 on July 29, 2013 at 9:15 PM

I’ll go with the guy who speaks for me and excites me and fights for what’s right. Right now a guy I see doing that and doing it well is the new senator from Texas.
bluegill on July 29, 2013 at 11:20 AM

If I find out that Cruz (who I currently admire) is supporting the NSA overreach in any way, I will immediately cease supporting him. In fact, just the fact that you, bluegill, have such high praise for him in regard to this issue makes me suspicious that there might be something wrong with him.

Burke on July 29, 2013 at 10:24 PM

but it won’t be marginal next time thanks to Paul’s presence in the race and prominent hawksRINOs’ insistence on attacking him early.

Gee, how’d that work out for RINOs in 2012?

Let.It.Burn.

SDN on July 30, 2013 at 5:59 AM

The swing in support for surveilance is in direct proportion to the uncovering of the UNNANOUNCED change in the Patriot Act that is now being used in what is clearly an UNCONSTITUTIONAL mass collection of data by the NSA.

Tea Party people are simply better informed than most of the population.

Freddy on July 30, 2013 at 1:21 PM

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