Saturday, April 24, 2010

does anyone have figures on the racial mix of the tea party?

My googling is failing me. Here's what I've got so far:

According to a CBS poll: "According to the poll, 95 percent are white, they are just as likely as Americans overall to have college educations and to make over $50,000 a year."

via Cuumbaya, a CNN poll seems to say (on page 5) they're 80% white, 2% African American, and 10% Latino, but if I'm reading that right, what're the remaining 8%?

ETA: via medievalist, a later New York Times/CBS News Poll: National Survey of Tea Party Supporters gives 89% white, 1% black, 1% Asian, 6% other, and 3% refused.

ETA 2, via serialbabbler, from Tea Partiers Are Fairly Mainstream in Their Demographics:

Profile of Tea Party Supporters -- Areas of Similarity to National Adults


  1. The CBS poll had only 214 of 1084 polled identified as Tea Partiers, and even those had this disclaimer:(This is a self-identification not related to whether they have attended any rallies or events.)

    The CNN poll used filtering questions, and interviewed those who had taken active steps in support of Tea Parties, so I would tend to trust it more. The missing 8% could be a lot of different things- Native American, Polynesian, Asian, did-not-answer.

  2. Typo there. I meant to say "I don't know if that's not the same CBS poll".

  3. I don't think a definitive account exists. But, if you haven't already, check out:
    Conor Friedersdorf thoughts on race and the tea parties "Race as a Cudgel" at and Ta-Neshi Coates rejoinder "Diversity Is Work" at

  4. I think there were two Times/CBS polls, or the first source was wonkier. I added an ETA with what look like better numbers.

    I do have to agree that nothing too definitive is likely to exist.

    Good Coates piece. I really should read him regularly.

    serialbabbler, thanks for pointing me toward Gallup!

  5. I notice that the CNN poll and the Gallup poll listed the same percentage white, but a different percentage black- I wonder if there was a slightly different definition used (I note that Gallup specifies non-Hispanic), or if the six weeks that passed between the two polls made a difference.