The Tea Party: Who Are They?
There are 300 000 signed up members of the five recognised Tea Party factions. A total of three million have been to a Tea Party rally or contributed to the organisation. According to the research, there could be 55 million Americans who strongly approve of the Tea Party.
Here’s something I learned: 70 per cent of Tea Party supporters, according to this polling, want to see the 14th Amendment deleted from the US Constitution . The 14th Amendment is “birth-right citizenship”, which gives US citizenship to anyone born in the United States, regardless of the citizenship status of their parents. Part of the anti-immigrant wave within the Tea Party is critical of Hispanics for allegedly slipping into the US illegally and having a child who can claim all the rights of American citizenship.
According to Professor Parker there are strong movements of racism, sexism and homophobia among Tea Party supporters, something which differentiates it from other elements in American conservatism.
As a result of the 2010 election there are 10 senators and 85 congressmen who received endorsement from at least one of the Tea Party factions, with Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky their informal leader in the Senate and Michelle Bachmann from Minnesota their informal leader in the House.
Professor Parker said Tea Party support would probably coalesce around Newt Gingrich rather than Trump in the contest for the Republican Party nomination. Trump’s support evaporated with Obama’s success in getting Osama bin Laden. The President was entitled to say “While you’re grilling me about my birth certificate, I’ve just killed bin Laden.”
In the least surprising bit of Parker’s research, 64 per cent of Tea Party supporters get their news from Fox.