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New University of Washington poll shows significant differences between conservatives and Tea Party followers

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on March 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
March 28, 2011 3:23 pm

According to the latest multi-state survey by the UW’s Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality, there are significant differences in opinions between self-described conservatives who support the tea party movement and those who do not.

Lead researcher Christopher Parker said he was interested in looking at differences in response to recent columns by conservative writers who expressed concerns that tea partiers were outside the mainstream conservative movement.

“Our data suggests the concerns of George Will and other conservatives are well founded. (Former House Speaker Newt) Gingrich and (former Arkansas Gov. Mike) Huckabee’s attacks on the president, apparently designed to appeal to tea party supporters, are far removed from the conservative mainstream,” said Parker, a UW associate professor of political science.

According to a summary of the results,

– 6 percent of mainstream conservatives believe Obama is destroying the country; 71 percent of tea party conservatives believe this to be true.

– 16 percent of mainstream conservatives believe Obama is a practicing Muslim; 27 percent of tea party conservatives believe that.

– 46 percent of mainstream conservatives believe Obama is a practicing Christian; 27 percent of tea party conservatives believe that.

– 55 percent of mainstream conservatives believe Obama was born in the United States; 40 percent of tea party conservatives believe that.

– 17 percent of mainstream conservatives believe Obama doesn’t have a valid birth certificate; 26 percent of tea party conservatives don’t believe he has one.

– 40 percent of mainstream conservatives believe Obama’s policies are pushing the country toward socialism; 75 percent of tea party conservatives believe that.

– 32 percent of mainstream conservatives want Obama’s policies to fail; 76 percent of tea party conservatives want this to happen.

The survey of 1,504 adults was conducted from Jan. 24 through March 12 using both land and cell telephone numbers into 13 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percent. Funding came from the Royalty Research Fund at the UW. 

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