Home > General > Palin Leads w/ Tea, and that is Key

Palin Leads w/ Tea, and that is Key

I have a big, mostly Republican/Conservative voting family and many Republican voting or conservative friends. Not surprisingly, political discussions come up. I also a few liberal friends or Democrat-voting friends. What I always find is that the more politically “in the know,” interested, and up-to-date they are, the more likely they are to fall into the very conservative or very liberal categories. When I talk about elections, those people have big opinions and at least a grasp of what is going on. And the less conservative/liberal they are, a.k.a “moderate,” the less informed they are. I’m sure most of you reading this would likely describe yourselves as either very conservative or very liberal, and in the former category many would even consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement.

Polling data backs this up as well. When looking at PPP’s most recent GOP poll for South Carolina, we find that 34% of Republicans in the state say they are part of the Tea Party, while 46% say they are not, and 20% are not sure. In almost every question asked about Poll candidates, Non-tea Party and Not-Sure-If-Tea-Party respondents were always far more likely to say they didn’t know a candidate or were unsure about them. For instance, when asked what the opinion of Newt Gingrich was, just 12% of TP did not answer. That number increased by 30% when asked of NTP (NonTeaParty) and increased by 300% when asked of DNTP (Dont Know if Tea Party) respondents. With Gingrich, the NTP were 25% and DNTP were 200% higher than Tea Party non-responses. When it came to Michelle Bachmann, 28% of Tea Partiers weren’t sure, but that number increased 60% with NTP and 180% with DNTP. A few candidates (Huntsman and Cain) were equally unknown by all three groups, but for the most part Tea Party members were far more likely than anyone else to be able to form an opinion or have a response.

So, what’s my point? What we can probably assume is that Republicans who consider themselves part of the Tea Party are probably more politically involved and more interested in watching TV talk shows, visiting political websites like Free Republic, hopping on Twitter to engage in some political chat, or reading sites such as this one. (I’m pretty sure that my Sister who calls me before every election and asks who the right person to vote for is into any of this). I know that I’m into all this stuff, but my wife (who is very conservative but hates politics, has no involvement, would never voluntarily watch the news for anything but weather, and gives me the evil I when I try to listen to talk radio when she is in the car) would be at a loss if she took a phone poll, would probably not know who any of the candidates are, and would certainly not say she is part of or in favor of the tea party. It would be more like, “what’s the tea party?”She knows she likes Sarah Palin, but only because “she kicked ass” in that Alaska show.

So, my real point is this: Palin is big with the Tea Party, and that is big for her. Why? The Tea Party is the most active and politically engaged segment of the Republican Party, and probably of any party at this point. Because of their increased engagement, they also have the most informed opinions of all the candidates and most issues. Remember, only 1/4th of voters even consider themselves really engaged in the election stage right now, which means 3 times as many do not. That 75% is likely getting most of their news from soundbites on TV, whatever headlines they pass through on the way to the coupon section in the Sunday Paper, or whatever parody was on Saturday Night Live last week.

So when you read a poll of 1000 people, keep in mind that at this point maybe 250 of them know what they are talking about.

But back to why this is good for Sarah Palin:

1) In South Carolina, though Palin places 2nd overall at 18% to Romney’s 27%, she is actually ahead of Romney and leads the pack at 22% among Tea Party people for a 10 point net swing from the general Republican vote. Non-Tea Party types like Romney by 2-1. The question is, as NTP become more involved later in the primary season, do their opinions align more with TP types who are currently more involved?

2) Palin’s faves among Tea Party types are at a stunning 81% favorable for a +67 point spread overall. Romney is way back at just +28 spread (58F-30U).

3) Palin’s numbers can only go up. Primaries are often about enthusiasm and Palin has the grassroots on her side at this point, while Romney is in the much less enviable position of having support from a block of people who are not paying as much attention. Palin has been trashed for 3 years and Romney has been mostly ignored and is skating by on name recognition carried over from 2008. As Palin takes her message to a wider audience and aims to dispel what’s been said about her, Romney will be stuck trying to uphold whatever image of him is currently in their minds. While most Tea Party types probably thoroughly know about Romneycare, his support for Global Warming, and past abortion flopping, do the people currently supporting him know this?

The Tea Party vote can and will be crucial in the 2012 Primaries. Probably just as it was in many states where Tea Party activists were able to overthrow GOP incumbents in primary battles, or outright defeat handpicked “establishment” types. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, Nikki Haley, and countless others in Congress and otherwise were able to knock-out “the best chances to win.” Ironically, many give Palin credit for helping Haley knock out a handful of establishment types in her successful primary, run-off, and general election victories iN South Carolina. Will SC be the state to kick start it for Palin? Will TEA decide the primary season?

Categories: General
  1. robert
    June 8, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Yes,sarah will run and both left and right will try to stop her. She is dtermined to save america and our way of life. Let us all hope Sarah makes the decision to run and by doing so the people will support her.

  1. June 7, 2011 at 9:41 pm

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