Monday, April 05, 2010


...or Republican-leaning independents. That's according to a new poll by the Republican-leaning Winston Group. The numbers seem honest, but the spin, spoon-fed to The Hill, is decidedly dishonest:

Four in 10 Tea Party members are either Democrats or Independents, according to a new national survey....

The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democratic, according to three national polls by the Winston Group, a Republican-leaning firm that conducted the surveys on behalf of an education advocacy group. Two-thirds of the group call themselves conservative, 26 are moderate and 8 percent say they are liberal.

Yes, 41% of teabaggers are independents or Democrats, so I guess that's kinda-sorta like saying that 41% are Democrats, right? And that's really meaningful, isn't it? Following that logic, I guess the Beatles didn't really have a disproportionately large quantity of songwriting talent, given the fact that 100% of the Beatles were either Ringo or one of the other guys -- right?

OK, some reality. How different are the teabaggers from America as a whole? According to's aggregation of recent polls, 25.4% of adult Americans are Republican. This poll says 57% of teabaggers are Republicans. Pollster says 34% of adult Americans are Democrats; this poll says a mere 13% of teabaggers are Democrats.

The last New York Times/CBS poll to ask the question found that the Republican Party had a 35% approval rate. According to The Hill, the new Winston poll says that, among teabaggers, the Republican Party has a whopping 71% approval rate. Oh, and among teabaggers, disapproval of Obama exceeds 80%, while even Rasmussen, fer crissake, finds 32% "strong approval" of Obama, and 46% overall approval. (Numbers from Sunday's poll.)

Oh, and two-thirds of teabaggers call themselves conservative? According to Gallup, there's no state in the union where even a full 50% of residents apply that label to themselves. If Teabaggia were a state, it would be approximately a third more conservative than Alabama or Mississippi.

So these guys are totally unrepresentative ... or, as the idiotic Andrew Malcolm of the L.A. Times puts it, totally representative of, er, um, something or other:

The Tea Party adherents broke down 28% independent, 17% Democrat and only 57% Republican. Not coincidentally, this bipartisan breakdown has been the way that Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin has often described movement members as "commonsense Americans" worried and....

...angered by the over-reaching one-party control of Democrats in Washington these last 15 months, rooted initially in opposition to Obama's $787 billion government economic stimulus package.

I don't know what the hell Malcolm's trying to argue, but I think he's saying that teabaggers, while not typical Americans, are the people who (according to Malcolm and his dream girl) should be typical Americans. The inconvenient truth, for Malcolm, is that people who don't agree with him -- people like you and me -- exist. How dare we!


UPDATE: And despite the eyeball-grabbing headline "Tea Partiers Are Fairly Mainstream in Their Demographics," this Gallup survey confirms the fact that teabaggers are decidedly not mainstream in their political philosophy -- they're 21 percentage points more Republican, 24 percentage points less Democratic, and 30 percentage points more conservative. Don't let the eye-catching stuff fool you -- the tea party movement is far to the right of the real "real America."

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