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Are we Rising or is it Tea Time?
Submitted by Anonymous on 20 September 2010 - 8:34pm
Midterm elections are 6 weeks away and if you listen to almost any TV and radio or read any paper, you probably think that our country is about to be taken over by the Tea Party. Talk shows and newspaper stories go on about that the Tea Party wants and imply that they somehow represent what the majority of the country wants: smaller government, a government that gets out of the way and lets business do its thing, and government that just, well, LEAVES US ALONE! Is this really what a majority of Americans want?
Midterm elections are 6 weeks away and if you listen to almost any TV and radio or read any paper, you probably think that our country is about to be taken over by the Tea Party. Talk shows and newspaper stories go on about that the Tea Party wants and imply that they somehow represent what the majority of the country wants: smaller government, a government that gets out of the way and lets business do its thing, and government that just, well, LEAVES US ALONE!
Is this really what a majority of Americans want?
A recent poll and report done by Project Vote called "What Happened to Hope and Change?" looked at the Americans who voted in 2008 across the board and found some very interesting things. In particular it found that the Rising American Electorate (RAE)- young voters, poor voters, and African American Voters, who make up 32% of the 2008 voting population, outnumber tea party supporters- the OWW (Older, Whiter and Wealthier)*-who make up just 29% of the voters in 2008.
It also found that:
- Tea Partiers are financially better off than the rest of the country, and 75% rate their personal financial situation as either very good or fairly good;
- When asked if at anytime in the past 12 months they struggled to provide food for themselves and their families 37% of blacks and 39% of low income said they did not always have enough money for food; only 5% of the tea partiers did not have enough money for food;
- At the same time, Tea Partiers are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country and 93% rate the national economy as either fairly bad or very bad.
The poll also asked about the role of government. Should it spend to stimulate job growth or reduce the deficite?
- 62% of blacks and 56% of youth said spend money to create jobs; whereas 72% of Tea partiers said only to reduce the deficit.
Interestingly, even 51% of the tea partiers thought the government should increase spending on roads and bridges; but only 41% thought increased spending for education was in order while 90% of blacks and 84% of youth thought we needed more money going to our schools.
Other interesting contrasts between the RAE's and the OWW's:
- While 80% of RAE voters want the government to create a living wage, only 41% of OWW voters do;
- While 70% of RAE voters think the government should spend the same or more for income security programs like food stamps, only 33% of OWW think so;
- While 65% of RAE voters think the government should spend to help homeowners facing foreclosurem only 13% of OWW do.
What does it mean?
This poll shows a huge split in attitudes and thinking between the Rising American Electorate, the voters who surged to the polls in 2008, and the Old, White and Wealthy electorate who tend to dominate midterm elections and who set the agenda during the Bush years.
Call to ACTION
We see this as a call to ACTION. Our members will be knocking on tens of thousands of doors in PA to get out the vote in November to try to preserve the advances we fought for in 2008. We already see the backlash in Corbett's suit to stop Health Care Reform and in the latest Tea Party victories in Delaware, New York and Alaska. We will be working hard to ensure that we do not go back to the failed policies that got us into this mess and to give the President the continued support to enact our agenda--not HIS agenda, OUR agenda, because that is what we elected him for.
Will it be enough? Its hard to say. But on November 3rd we wont be left wondering what would have happened if only we had ACTED.
*OWW is not from the report