The Tea Party was founded on a fundamentalist belief that a return to the intentions of America’s Founding Fathers was necessary. A focus on smaller government, less taxation, and more overall freedom based on the Constitution is a right that all Americans should have.
To sum up the Tea Party demographics in one sentence, they are older Caucasians that are angry with how the country is being run.
A Part of the Tea Party
Although the Tea Party is generally found within the rank and file of the GOP, there are exceptions to this rule. Some identify themselves as Libertarians. Others come from the Democratic Party. When compared to traditional third party movements in the US, the supporters of the Tea Party are about equal to the supporters that came out for the Reform Party in 1992 when Ross Perot first ran for President.
- 36% of the Tea Party supporters come from the Southern US, much more than any other geographic location. 25% come from the West, while just 18% come from the Northeast.
- 89% of the Tea Party supporters identify themselves as being Caucasian.
- 1%. That’s the percentage of Tea Party supporters that self-identify as being African American.
- The percentage of Tea Party supporters that are above the age of 45: 75%.
- 3 out of 10 Tea Party supporters are above the age of 65.
- There is a 60/40 split in the gender demographics of the Tea Party, with men being the dominant gender.
- Half of the Tea Party supporters say they identify with the Republican Party. Just 5% say that they call themselves Democrats.
Although it may be stereotypical to say that the Tea Party is filled with angry older white men, the demographics show that this isn’t that far from the truth. With men outnumbering women and Caucasians being over-represented within the party, there is a certain amount of nostalgia that can also be seen within supporters. People in the Tea Party want things to go back to the way they used to be, when government didn’t interfere as much, in their perception anyway. This drive for independence is definitely part of the American way, but this drive may also be fracturing the GOP and causing more liberal groups to take political power in the US.
Don’t Think That The Tea Party Is Unintelligent
- 37% of the Tea Party are college graduates, which is higher than the 25% of the general American public.
- More than half of the Tea Party [56%] earns more than $50,000 per year.
- 75% of Tea Party supporters identify themselves as being conservative.
- More people in the Tea Party say that the US doesn’t need a third political party [52%] than those who say that it does [40%].
- 38%. That’s the percentage of Tea Party supporters that say they regularly attend religious services. An almost equal percentage [39%] identifies themselves as evangelical Christians.
- Only 7% of Tea Party supporters say that they don’t have a religious identity that defines them.
- The percentage of Tea Party supporters who have at least one gun in the household: 58%.
- 78% of Tea Party supporters say that they have never attended a rally or donated to the group. Most haven’t even visited a website that has been created to support the Tea Party.
- Just 4% of Americans have attended a Tea Party rally at least once.
The Tea Party might not be popular with all demographics, but it has its fair share of followers because of a perception, valid or not, that the government is not fiscally responsible. It’s a legitimate point of view for many considering the high income levels and strong educational backgrounds that many supporters have. In general, however, there is a tie that binds all of these folks together: a negative feeling about a Democratic President, pessimism about the future of the country, and anger about how they feel like they’re being treated.
How Angry Is The Tea Party?
- 92%. That’s the percentage of the Tea Party that says the United State is headed in the wrong direction.
- 2x more Tea Party supporters believe that the President is not doing a good job compared to the general population.
- Just 6% say that the US has been making the best choices for the country and the world on a consistent basis.
- The percentage of Tea Party supporters who say they are angry about how the country is being run: 53%.
- The top issue that the Tea Party rallies around is the Affordable Care Act [16%]. That even outranks the viewpoint that the government is not representing the people adequately [14%].
- When asked what the Tea Party doesn’t like about President Obama, 1 in 5 say that they just don’t like him in general.
- 2 in 3 Tea Party supporters say that Obama has raised taxes for most people compared to 1 in 3 in the general American population [most Americans actually received a tax cut with Obama's policies].
- Just 20% of the Tea Party says that the President shares the same values as the rest of the country.
The chasm between the Tea Party and other groups is reflective more of a different philosophy for success than anything else. The conservatives in the Tea Party are at odds with the liberals in the Democratic party [and some even see the GOP as “liberal”] and believe their ways to rule are the right way. That’s why many are angry and see the government as being ineffective. The flip side could be said about how others feel about the Tea Party with equal percentages. Unless this gap gets bridged, the polarization of America is just going to strengthen.
Is The Tea Party A Dangerous Movement?
- The percentage of Tea Party supporters who say that Congress is doing a good job: 1%.
- 1 in 4 Tea Party supporters say that it is sometimes justifiable to take violent action against the government.
- 6 in 10 Tea Party supporters say that their primary source of news is Fox News compared to 1 in 5 Americans in the general public.
- Half of the Tea Party uses TV news as their primary source of information.
- 1 in 2 Tea Party supporters say that the primary reason why they joined the movement was to support a reduction in the role of the government.
- 84% of the Tea Party says that their views about America are reflective of what the rest of the nation thinks [36% of the US population says that the Tea Party doesn't reflect anything they believe].
- 92%. That’s the percentage of the Tea Party who says the government is headed towards socialism.
- The most favorable political figure in the eyes of the Tea Party: Sarah Palin, with 66% support. Glenn Beck at 59% receives more support than former President George W. Bush at 57%.
- 82% of the Tea Party sees illegal immigration as a serious problem.
Will the average Tea Party supporter go on a wild rampage and attempt to overthrow the government? Of course not. Yet when 1 in 4 within the Tea Party say that violent actions against the government are necessary, then how can they be critical of terrorist actions that are also violent actions that are bent on overthrowing the status quo? Is it better to kill someone because of conservative policies instead of liberal policies? There’s a great fear in living under sharia law in North America, but death in the name of reform, under any banner… isn’t that still morally wrong?
What Would America Look Like Under Tea Party Rule?
- 30% of the Tea Party would like to see all gun control laws erased.
- 4 in 10 within the Tea Party oppose same sex marriages AND civil unions.
- The percentage within the Tea Party who say that Roe vs. Wade was a bad decision issued by the Supreme Court: 53%.
- 58% of the Tea Party says that the best years of the United States have already come and go.
- 86% of the Tea Party says that the economic stimulus package that the government passed to bailout certain businesses and help the economy either had no impact or made things worse.
- The percentage of the Tea Party that says programs like Medicare and Social Security are worth the costs: 62%.
- 52% say that too much press has been given to the problems that are facing minority groups in the United States.
- 3 in 4 supporters say that removing government’s influence in society is more important than the jobs that are created by government spending.
In a Tea Party America, the attitude would be that everyone should pull themselves up by their bootstraps, work a fair day’s wage, and get whatever their skills and talents deserve. Economic disadvantages, medical issues, and other problems make one less of a contributor to society, which means that person deserves less than others who contribute more. It is the epitome of the “Me First” attitude that is on display within American borders right now. Make no mistake – that attitude is within every party. The difference is that it is a foundation of the Tea Party’s principles.