Almost 80% of St. Scholastica opinion survey participants said they think this election will be significant in American politics; however, only 63% intend to vote.
This may have to do with the Tea Party movement becoming prominent. 63% of those who participated in the survey said they do not know what the Tea Party movement stands for. Are people feeling as though they wouldn’t have an informed vote?
The Tea Party has often been described by its members as “a grassroots movement that calls awareness to any issue that challenges the security, sovereignty, or domestic tranquility of the United States of America.”
Our opinion survey found that 15% of Scholastica students disagreed with this, 11% agreed, and 73% were neutral.
According to a USA Today poll, the Tea Party movement believes that the federal government has gotten too big and too powerful. The Tea Party movement believes in less federal government and more personal freedoms.
The survey found that 18% thought that if Tea Party members were elected there would NOT be less government intrusion into private lives, 12% said there would be less intrusion, and 68% were neutral.
Rachel Maddow has presented information on her MSNBC show suggesting that candidates such as Sharron Angle, running for the U.S. Senate seat in Nevada, might introduce anti-abortion legislation that would intrude into private lives, forcing women to go through with pregnancies even in the case of rape or incest.
Also the USA Today poll found that Tea Party activists don’t see discrimination as a threat to our country.
The surveys used by USA Today showed that not only do they believe its equal, but also they think the government favors African Americans and it’s not the government’s job to guarantee equal opportunity. Nearly half said “most African Americans lack in jobs because they don’t have the will power or motivation to pull themselves out of poverty.”
Polls have shown that Tea Party supporters are more likely to be registered as Republicans. This could be because the same surveys showed those supporting the Tea Party have an unfavorable opinion of Democrats.
The rest of the polls showed that 40% of supporters are age 55 or older, 79% are white, 61% are men and 44% are “born again Christians.”
The survey also showed that 57% of Republicans identify with the Tea Party movement.
Our survey showed that 36% of respondents identified themselves as being members of the Republican Party, while only 1 person identified her/himself as a member of the Tea Party. The majority of those surveyed were neutral about whether or not the Tea Party represents the core beliefs of most Americans, while 22% of those surveyed do not believe that the Tea Party represents the beliefs of most Americans, and 12% think that it does.
Some of the most interesting results of the survey can be seen in peoples’ knowledge, or lack of knowledge, about organizations, advocacy groups, and political action committees that support Tea Party, Republican, and Democratic political agenda.
While many of these organizations have progressive-sounding names, all of these are groups except for ThinkProgress support a distinctly conservative agenda.
For example, 91 percent of respondents believe that the Independent Women’s Forum is a Liberal or Independent group while only 9 per cent identified the group as conservative.
In reality, the Independent Women’s Forum, according to its website, is an organization whose mission is “to rebuild civil society by advancing economic liberty, personal responsibility, and political freedom. IWF builds support for a greater respect for limited government, equality under the law, property rights, free markets, strong families, and a powerful and effective national defense and foreign policy.”
An analysis of the IWF’s policy papers reveals it supports a conservative agenda. Health care reform “will have a significant negative impact on the business climate, will discourage business expansion and job creation, and will slow economic growth.”
Its policy paper for Women in 2010 is couched in the idea that “the next Congress needs to dedicate itself to promoting sustainable economic growth and limiting government's burden on the private sector.”
Lastly, it doesn’t support Title IX, the 1973 federal law that forbids discrimination in educational programs. According to its policy paper on Title IX, “Title IX was well-intentioned, but has had some negative, serious unintended consequences, particularly in the realm of collegiate athletics.”
A majority of respondents, 79 percent, correctly identified ThinkProgress as a liberal or independent organization. However, 79 percent identified the Institute for Justice as a liberal or independent organization when its stated goal is to "challenge the government when it stands in the way of people trying to earn an honest living, when it unconstitutionally takes away individuals' property, when bureaucrats instead of parents dictate the education of children, and when government stifles speech. We seek a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society."
Grand Total: n = 243 Surveys
Male: 104 (43%)
Female: 139 (57%)
Freshman: 28 (15%)
Sophomore: 78 (31%)
Junior: 70 (28%)
Senior: 62 (25%)
Grad Student: 3 (1%)
Independent: 64 (26%)
Republican: 86( 36%)
Tea Party: 1 (0.4%)
Democrat: 79 (32%)
None: 15 (5%)
Are you aware of what the Tea Party Movement stands for
Yes: 87 (36%)
No: 152 (63%)
A Little: 4 (1%)
I intend to vote in the elections on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010
Yes: 30 (12%)
No: 213 (88%)
I believe this election is significant in American politics
Yes: 152 (63%)
No: 90 (37%)
Maybe: 1 (0.4 %)
1: Strongly Agree 2: Somewhat Agree 3: Neutral 4: Somewhat Disagree 5: Strongly Disagree
The Tea Party is a viable grassroots campaign
9 (3%) 20 (8%) 177 (73%) 22 (9%) 15 (6%)
Funding for the Tea Party comes from large U.S. corporations
15 (6%) 26 (10%) 171 (70%) 20 (8%) 11 (4%)
The Tea Party represents the interests of most Americans
6 (2%) 24 (10%) 147 (60%) 30 (12%) 24(10%)
If Tea Party members are elected to Congress, things will change in Washington for the better
9 (3%) 10 (4%) 166 (68%) 30 (12%) 29 (12%)
If Tea Party members are elected to Congress, things will change locally for the better
7 (3%) 17 (7%) 167 (68%) 29 (12%) 22 (9%)
If Tea Party members are elected to Congress, there will be less government intrusion into private concerns
8 (3%) 22 (9%) 167 (68%) 28 (11%) 17 (7%)
If Tea Party members are elected to Congress, there will be less wasteful government spending
6 (3%) 17 (7%) 165 (67%) 32 (13%) 21 (9%)
If Tea Party members are elected to Congress, more jobs will be created
5 (2%) 15 (6%) 170 (70%) 30 (12%) 23 (9%)
If Tea Party members are elected to Congress, the national debt will be reduced
4 (1%) 17 (7%) 163 (67%) 32 (13%) 24 (10%)
If Tea Party members are elected to Congress, more balance will be brought to decisions concerning the environment
6 (2%) 24 (10%) 166 (68%) 24 (10%) 25 (10%)
Of the following organizations circle the political affiliation you believe they represent
Liberal Independent Conservative
Independent Women’s Forum 123 (50%) 99 (41%) 18(9%)
Citizens for a Sound Economy 57 (23%) 80 (33%) 101 (44%)
Institute for Justice 78 (32%) 69 (28%) 92 (40%)
ThinkProgress 87 (36%) 104 (43%) 48 (21%)
Americans For Prosperity 62 (25%) 80 (33%) 97 (42%)
Institute for Humane Studies 107 (44%) 85 (35%) 49 (21%)
Want to read more about the Tea Party movement?
Click here to learn about the history of the Tea Party, tracing the origins of the movement from a national frame to its current role in state and local communities, including Duluth!
Click here to learn about the Koch's financial influences outside the political arena. Read the facts and decide for yourself whether the Kochs’ philanthropy is being used to balance the scales against their ardent politics.
Is the Tea Party truly a "grassroots" movement, becoming a large force in American politics without the financial support of large corporations? Click here to read about the "media fantasy" behind financial contributions to the Tea Party.
Click here to learn about possible Tea Party principles outlined in Pledge to America, the GOP position paper that articulates an agenda the GOP would attempt to legislate if the party is able to win a majority in Congress.
Click here to read blog reflections from the CSS journalist students who have been researching the Tea Party in light of the 2010 elections.