Friday, March 05, 2010

Curious discrepancy in political makeup of Tea Party Patriots

We've got an apple and an orange here; but what explains the difference?

The Union recently ran a friendly profile of (and subsequent Q&A with) local and national Tea Party Patriot leader Mark Meckler. From the profile:
Meckler estimated that about 40 percent of the people who are part of the Tea Party movement are Republicans, with another 40 percent identifying themselves as independent and 20 percent identifying themselves as Democrats.

20 percent identifying themselves as Democrats.

Then the Sam Adams Alliance released a report (pdf, webpage) based on a survey of Tea Party Patriot leaders. From the webpage:
62 percent [of the 49 leaders surveyed] identified as Republicans, 28 percent as Independents, 10 percent as "Tea Party".

Note the omission of a percentage for "Democrats" - which, since the others add up to 100%, must be 0%.

It's an interesting discrepancy.

1 comment:

Joy said...

Perhaps the apparent discrepancy is because in the first report, Mr. Meckler seems to be referring to participants as a whole, and the second report it seems to be referring to leaders. This is a substantial difference, though easily understood. The principles animating the Tea Party are government limited by the Constitution, exercising fiscal responsibility, and defending individual liberty. These are ideas that are more frequently seen as animating those on the "right' or Republicans, so it would stand to reason that Republicans and/or Independents would be at the forefront and would have assumed leadership positions, while those whose agreement with the Tea Party is perhaps not as profound would identify with its goals, but not move into leadership positions.