What makes for Tea Party support

So, I am running plenty of models on parenthood and the 2012 election, but I am finding it much more fun to use support for the Tea Party as a dependent variable and see what sorts of interesting things I can find.  The NES has a really nice set of questions that results in a single 7-point item ranking support for the Tea party from strong support to strong opposition.  So, what determines a respondent’s placement on this?  Well, as you would expect, party identification and ideology are hugely influential.  Likewise, being more religious and being a biblical literalist increase Tea Party support (and, to be clear, this is above and beyond the effect of being a conservative Republican).

My favorite items, though, were ones about race.  I created an index (labeled “BlackFeel” below) of two items that asked how often one felt “sympathy” or “admiration” for Blacks (reverse coded).  There’s also an item that asks how much influence Blacks have in politics.  Surprise, surprise, the fewer positive emotions towards Blacks (controlling for race, mind you), the more support for the Tea Party.  The more one things Blacks have a lot of influence in politics, the more support for the Tea Party.  And, here’s a fun one: the more being a white person forms a part of one’s personal identity (“whiteid”) the more support for the Tea Party.  No, race has nothing to do with the Tea Party.

And, just for fun, because I was playing with them.  Gun owners also love the Tea Party.  And lastly, “wordtotal” is the score on a vocabulary test that is not too bad a proxy for IQ.  That’s right– better vocabulary, less Tea Party support.

TeapartyReg

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

2 Responses to What makes for Tea Party support

  1. Alex says:

    I think you’re missing a word in this sentence:

    “Surprise, surprise, the [more?/less?] the positive emotions towards Blacks (controlling for race, mind you), the more support for the Tea Party. “

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