From The New York Times -- April 17, 2010:
New York Times poll reveals Tea Party ignorance, dishonesty and hypocrisy
By Marc Rubin
There were new myth making headlines out of a New York Times poll that supposedly showed that tea party supporters are "better educated and wealthier" than the general population. The supposed findings were used by some journalists and tea party organizers to build up the credentials of the tea party.
But when you look at the actual poll data that the NY Times used for its story, it's clear neither the Times editors nor the reporters who wrote the story could analyze their way out of a paper bag. The claims are preposterous and further re-enforces the credentials of the newspaper that brought us Whitewater and Judith Miller's bogus front page stories on the absolute certainty of WMD in Iraq in the run up to the war.
Many in the news media and on the cable news talk shows just took the preposterous conclusions by a bunch of inept Times reporters at face value without looking at the actual results (which are available here) which paints a very different picture. In fact, supposedly according to Michelle Bachman and some silly reporting, Tea Party supporters are even "hotter" than liberals.
But the data shows that compared to the general population almost twice the number of Tea Party supporters are retired, 32% to 18%. And another interesting poll number which calls the entire validity of the Times poll and the veracity of the those polled into question, is that according to their poll data only 16% of the tea party respondents say they are on Medicare.
Since everyone becomes eligible for Medicare at 65 its hard to believe that 50% of retirees who claim to be Tea Party supporters do not have Medicare. It indicates a number of things: a willingness to lie or be deceptive on the part of the respondents, probab;y because Medicare is a government run healthcare program and indicates a lack of analytical ability on the part of the Times pollsters, reporters who wrote the story and their editors..
With this answer and the answer to other questions, there is every indication that a good number of Tea Party supporters are willing to lie to pollsters to support their agenda, which, based on based on past performance shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone with the obvious exception of the New York Times.
On religion 83% are catholic or protestant with 1% saying they are Jewish and 6-9% saying "other". With only 1% of those polled saying they are Jewish its not likely that many of the respondents in the New York Times poll are from New York, or much of the northeast or Florida, a state where an anti-healthcare Tea Party Republican was just crushed in a special election for a seat in the House of Representatives. Given the lack of polling in the northeast, the claim that Tea Party supporters are "better educated" is also suspect and further examination of the poll data supports that also not to mention what we've seen of the protestors.
Of these supposedly higher educated Tea Partiers, 1% checked the answer " I dont know", when asked the question of whether they are married, had ever been married are divorced or separated, Of the supposedly less educated general public, 0% checked "I don't know" to that question. This might begin to explain the popularity of Michelle Bachman and Fox News.
One wonders if Tea Partiers have their names and addresses sewn into their clothing when they go on protests.
To the question of ideology, 73% of Tea Party supporters describe themselves as "conservative to very conservative" . This blows another hole in the veracity of the NY Times poll and/or the truthfulness of their Tea Party respondents since every poll, every measurable educational statistic has shown that those with liberal ideologies tend to be better educated while people who describe themselves as conservative less educated in the general population.
It's not likely that has changed as far as the Tea Party movement is concerned and there is more raw data in the New York times poll to back that up.
So what it also suggests is that, like the Medicare question, Tea Partiers are likely to be less than truthful when it comes to answering certain questions.In the answer to questions about their education, "some college" drew the highest percentage. Which means what? They dropped out? Couldn't handle it? Or was that the easiest to lie about? There is more polling data to call into question the "better educated" claim as well.
As for the Times conclusion that they are "wealthier", these are the actual numbers:
25% say they make between $50,000 and $75,000 a year compared to 18% of the general population and 12% between $75k-and 100k compared to 11% of the general population.
Assuming the Tea Partiers are telling the truth which has been shown can be highly doubtful, the disparity in the $75-100,000 category is so small as to be irrelevant. And with regards to the use of the term "wealthier"( the word used by the Times), it's doubtful that anyone in the country making $50-$75,000 or $75 -$100,000 a year thinks they are wealthy.
According to the poll there is a slightly higher number than the public as a whole claiming to make over $250,000 but that number is such a small percentage of the Tea Party supporters and general population as a whole that the conclusion that Tea Party supporters are "wealthier" is beyond silly and far from the truth.
But to get back to the "better educated" claim, maybe the biggest nail in the coffin of the New York Times article, is their poll data that shows 63% of these supposedly " better educated" Tea Party supporters say their primary source of information is Fox News. It is beyond the realm of possibility that highly educated people would use Fox News as their primary source of information.
This is the same Fox News where Sean Hannity said the healthcare bill if passed, could turn U.S. doctors into terrorists because it would cut their salaries and they'd be susceptible to taking money from Al-Qaeda to commit terrorist acts. There is no supermarket tabloid in America that wouldnt be embarrassed to publish such a story. This is also the same Fox News where Glenn Beck conducting his Ding Dong School fact-denying show, told people that under the new healthcare bill they will "go to jail", ( written on his blackboard) if they don't get health insurance.
Fox News is not news for highly educated people. And what's more Fox News itself knows it.
More data proving the absurdity of Tea Party supporters being better educated are the poll numbers that show 57% have a favorable view of George W Bush, the most inept, disastrous president in U.S. history. Bush visited more catastrophies on the United States because of his incompetence and negligence than U.S president in history, from getting 3000 people killed on 911 because he dismissed terrorism as a threat until it was too late, to destroying the balanced budget, exploding the deficit, creating the worst economic disaster since the depression, and the debacle in Iraq, not to mention those who died because of his handling of Katrina.
Yes this is the president that supposedly "better educarted" Tea Party supporters give a 57% job approval rating, which says as much about who Tea Party supporters really are as it says about the New York Time ability to analyze.
It reveals the Tea Party supporters as totally partisan, somewhat fascistic and completely hypocritical since every problem they complain about was caused by Bush and the Republicans who proved to be incompetent beyond anything anyone would have thought possible.
It also explains why Tea Party supporters didn't demonstrate when Bush destroyed the balanced budget, blew a $ 5 1/2 trillion budget surplus, cut tax rates for upper 5% of the country, exploded the deficit, sent the country into an unnecessary $1 billion a day war without paying for it, caused the worst economic crisis since the Depression, and are now "angry" with Democrats over the economy. Tea Party supporters are either mindlessly partisan or they were in a six year coma for 2001-2006.
What the Times poll really reveals is that a large segment ( no one can say "all") of the Tea Party movement is what it appears to be every day on television: ignorant,dishonest, uneducated, neo fascistic, filled with moral and intellectual hypocrites (as the foul mouthed family values conservatives who made obscene calls to Bart Stupak and others proved) with no real values except a deep desire to have everyone act they way they do and believe as they do to justify themselves and their conformity.
And there is, though a minority, a definite and distinct element of raw racism motivating many as was evident not just by some clearly racist signs aimed at Obama over healthcare. but even by the Governor of Virginia who neglected to mention slavery as the cause of the Civil War in a speech honoring those who fought for the confederacy.
As the data and any real analyis shows, the conclusions the Times reporters drew from their polling data are simply preposterous. And what the Tea Party protests have shon is that more than anything, the Tea Party movement is made of a bunch of small minded conservative partians, angry that the massive failure of their ideology led to their representatives being thrown out of power. And if the American people have any sense, it will stay that way despite Republican political operatives who try and exploit their temper tantrums for their own political ends.
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