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Immigration, race, gay rights issues divide tea party, other voters

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on June 1, 2010 at 9:08 am |
June 1, 2010 9:08 am

A poll out this morning has some details about the attitudes of tea party supporters in Washington state.

Unsurprisingly, tea party backers are less likely to approve of Democratic leaders and their policies than other voters. They have far more support for Arizona’s immigration crackdown and far less for federal health care reform.

The Washington Poll also asked respondents about their views on race.The disparity between tea party supporters and the electorate as a whole is not as wide on those questions as some others. Neither group agreed with the observation, “If blacks would only try harder, they would be just as well off as whites,” though the 46 percent of tea party supporters who agreed surpassed the 26 percent of all voters.

Differences of opinion can be seen on immigration questions. A majority of tea party supporters, 54 percent, agreed that “Immigration is changing the culture in the U.S. for the worse,” while just 32 percent of all voters agreed. A bare majority of voters, 52 percent, backs the Arizona law that the poll says “requires police to question people they suspect are illegal immigrants for proof of legal status,” but a whopping 88 percent of tea party supporters like it.

The tea party movement tends to avoid social issues, but since its supporters are more conservative than the public, maybe it’s unsurprising that they part ways from other voters on issues of gay rights.

A majority, 52 percent, agree that, “Compared to the size of their group, lesbians and gays have too much political power,” compared to 25 percent of all voters.

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