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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: Tea Party Leanings Exposed in New Poll

The GOP meme that the so-called Tea Party ‘movement’ reflects the beliefs of a majority of Americans has been pretty much shredded by a New York Times/CBS News poll, conducted 4/5-12, according to TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira’s latest ‘Public opinion Snapshot’ at the Center for American Progress web pages. With respect to abortion law, Teixeira notes:

…The poll finds that the general public remains stalwart in its support for the Roe v. Wade decision establishing the right to obtain a legal abortion: 58 percent say this decision was a good thing, compared to just 34 percent who say it was a bad thing. But among Tea Party supporters, sentiment is just the reverse: 53 percent say the decision was a bad idea and only 40 percent say it was a good idea.

Regarding the financing of health care reform:

The public also shows its progressive colors on the issue of whether the rich should be taxed to help provide health insurance coverage for those who don’t have it. In the same poll, 54 percent say this approach is a good idea, compared to 39 percent who think it’s a bad idea. Among Tea Party supporters, however, an amazing 80 percent term this a bad idea and a mere 17 percent say it’s a good idea.

On President Obama:

…In the same poll, 58 percent say he understands the needs and problems of “people like yourself” compared to 39 percent who say he doesn’t. But Tea Party supporters diverge radically from this sympathetic assessment, with 73 percent saying he doesn’t understand their needs and problems and just 24 percent saying he does.

As Teixeira sums up the poll’s findings, “Tea Party supporters, in short, are representative of the conservative right and should in no way be confused with the center of American politics, which remains progressive on many key issues.”

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