The national polling firm recently released its findings from an extensive survey that set out to determine the concerns of Tea Party supporters.
Self-described Tea Party supporters differ from those neutral or opposed to the movement on the issues they perceive as threats to the future of the United States, most notably federal government debt and the size and power of the federal government. They are essentially indistinguishable from those who do not support the Tea Party in their perceptions of unemployment and racial discrimination as future threats to the country.
But looking at the topics Gallup asked Tea Party supporters about (taxes, size of federal government, immigration, etc.), I couldn't help feeling that the polling firm, much like the mainstream media, ignored the fuel that's really driving the Tea Party movement, which is, at times, an uncontrollable hatred from Obama and the irrational fear that America is hurtling towards some sort of communist/socialist/tyrannical rule. (Paging Glenn Beck...)
With that in mind, here are some types of questions Gallup could have asked Tea Party supporters to get a better sense of their motivations and concerns:
-Is Obama a Socialist?
-Is Obama trying to destroy the U.S. Constitution?
-Is Obama ineligible to be president?
The polling responses would have likely raised uncomfortable questions for the Tea Party movement. And for the last year it's been rather obvious that the Beltway press is extremely reluctant to portray any Tea Party supporters as being radical. Instead, the press has politely kept its distances from the raging Obama hatred that fuels the movement. And now unfortunately, Gallup seems to be playing along, suggesting it's common sense issues such as terrorism and foreign policy that are at the foundation of the Tea Party crusade.
I don't buy it.