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Tea Party and the GOP: Same Voters, Same Issues, New Name

October 5, 2010, 10:37 am | Posted by Dan Nejfelt

Public Religion Research Institute released new survey data today containing numerous findings about the Tea Party and Christian conservatives, including the degree of convergence between the two:


Findings from the full poll report:

  • Nearly half (47%) of self-identified Tea Party supporters are also Christian conservatives, and 36% are white evangelicals. An even greater share of Tea Party supporters identify as Republican partisans – 76% identify with or lean toward the Republican party. (p.4, 9)
  • Conversely, only 23% of self-identified Christian conservatives, and 28% of white Christian conservatives, said they support the Tea Party. (p. 11)
  • Twice as many Americans identify as Christian conservatives than as Tea Party supporters (22% to 11% of the adult population). (p. 4)
  • Regardless of religious affiliation, Tea Party supporters are socially conservative rather than libertarian: 63% say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, and only 18% say gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry. (p. 4)

These findings confirm my suspicion that the Tea Party isn’t all that distinct from the Republican base. “They don’t differ much from the Republican Party’s religious profile,” said PRRI CEO Dr. Robert Jones today, speaking at a panel discussion of the findings at the Brookings Institute. We’ll be pulling out other interesting findings here at Bold Faith Type today. Check back later for more posts, including additional charts!

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