"The tea party is not just about politics and size of government. The data suggests it may also be about race,"said Christopher Parker, a UW assistant professor of political science who directed the survey.
It found that those who are racially resentful, who believe the U.S. government has done too much to support blacks, are 36 percent more likely to support the tea party than those who are not.
Indeed, strong support for the tea party movement results in a 45 percent decline in support for health care reform compared with those who oppose the tea party. "While it's clear that the tea party in one sense is about limited government, it's also clear from the data that people who want limited government don't want certain services for certain kinds of people. Those services include health care," Parker said.
He directed the Multi-State Survey of Race and Politics, a broad look at race relations and politics in contemporary America. The survey reached 1,015 residents of Nevada, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia and California. All were battleground states in the 2008 presidential election with the exception of California, which was included in the survey to represent the West Coast. See summary of report.
I have believed from the beginning that race was part of the health care debate. Many who didn't support Health Care reform held their position partly because they believed that the provisions of reform would disproportionately benefit the poor in this Country.... and by extension (since a large proportion of the poor are minorities) would benefit Blacks and Hispanics. To many whites, especially whites in the South, this was just unacceptable.
The information coming out now appears to support what I had believed all along.
This also backs up the argument I made last year about the role racial prejudice was playing in the Republican's anti-Obama campaign (of which the Tea Party plays a central role). Also see post from the Daily Kos. James Carville of all people tried to suggest that race was not an issue behind the anti-Obama campaign. The Carville report has since been shot down repeatedly by other surveys, reports and commentaries. The report was nonsense from the beginning.