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Everyone talks about the Tea Party but few really understand what it is about. This article, written by political scientists who did an extensive survey, gives us some valuable information about the Tea Party.
Despite the energy and support that the Tea Party provides to the GOP, they are also a potential problem for those who are connected to it. A large majority of Americans have come to dislike the Tea Party. They are disliked even more than Congress and that is saying a lot.
The Tea Party shares one value that is widely held by Americans. They favor smaller government and so do most Americans. The other values held by the Tea Party are less widely held and some are even very unpopular. They tend to be racist and anti-immigration which is unpopular with most Americans, but they are also Christian fundamentalists who desire a Christian state and believe that politics and religion should be blended together. Most Americans have a strong negative feeling about blending religion with government.
Michelle Bachman and Governor Perry have appealed to the Tea Party by mixing religion with their politics. Governor Perry could be stand in for Elmer Gantry. This has helped them to win support in several primaries which attract the most rabid element of the GOP. On the other hand, it is unlikely that either of them could survive a general election campaign where their views on religion would repel most Americans.
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