POLITICO & TargetPoint Consulting partner on a first of its kind exit poll of actual Tea Party rally attendees. Full results and findings below.
To this point, our understanding of the Tea Party movement has been shaped in two ways: first, by media coverage of the signs and speakers that appear at a Tea Party event, and second, by phone surveys identifying those favorable towards, supportive of, or actively participating in the movement. While these methods are insightful, they are each inherently flawed. Typical media coverage focuses almost exclusively on the most radical and sensational parts of the protest. Phone surveys do a good job of analyzing those that support the movement, but they cannot provide true portraits of Tea Party activists because participation levels tend to be overstated when collected by phone.
Moreover, the Tea Party movement is unique in that it is exclusively defined by its rallies. There is no official platform, national committee, or spokesperson. Rather, when we think about the Tea Party, we think specifically about its rallies and protests. To truly understand the Tea Party, we need to understand the people that attend Tea Party events.
TargetPoint Consulting and POLITICO have addressed these issues by taking a statistically valid snapshot of actual attendees at a Tea Party event through a partnership on an “exit poll” survey of 457 people at the Washington DC Tax Day Tea Party rally the evening of April 15, 2010 on the Washington Monument grounds. Our findings are detailed in the memo embedded below, and will also be released over the next few days on this blog.
Story on the poll results at POLITICO (link)
Full Topline Poll Results (PDF)
Sample Questionnaire (PDF)
Survey Crosstabs (PDF)
Analysis Memo (PDF)