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Tea Party Support by Candidate
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Not satisfied (nor fully convinced) by looking at a few select exit polls, I calculated the total number of self-described tea partiers, defined as those who either “support” or “strongly support” the movement, who have voted for the four Republican Presidential candidates up through the Alabama and Mississippi primaries that took place earlier this week, for all the states where entrance or exit polling was conducted (excluding Virginia, where Romney and Paul were the only two on the ballot):

Candidate TP votes
Mitt Romney 1,753,310
Newt Gingrich 1,494,949
Rick Santorum 1,404,652
Ron Paul 367,020

Romney has received the most votes among self-described tea partiers! Of course, he’s received the most total votes thus far. In fact, his advantage in absolute votes is a lot larger than his tea party edge is. The following table shows the percentage of each candidate’s electoral support that has come from primary voters who support the tea party, as well as the total number of votes, tea party or not, in the states considered that each has received:

Candidate Tea party Total votes
Newt Gingrich 72.3% 2,067,783
Rick Santorum 64.6% 2,173,147
Mitt Romney 54.9% 3,195,949
Ron Paul 47.0% 780,292

The presumption that the foundation of the tea party movement is Jack Hunter-style libertarianism is incorrect. Tea partiers are merely more conservative (in the popular, political conception of the term) versions of the GOP’s general electorate.

If the tea party was primarily driven by libertarian concerns, I’d expect relative support among members to flow as follows, from most to least: Paul, Romney, and then either Santorum or Gingrich. In fact, it flows in the opposite direction, with the most socially conservative and big government candidates getting the greatest amount of tea party support relative to the support they’re receiving from the rest of the Republican electorate, while at the same time, the candidate who is by far the most serious about taking an axe to federal budget is received more coldly by tea partiers than he is by non-tea party Republican primary voters.

It’s too bad tea partiers apparently don’t realize that the modern bureaucratic state, whether it has a Republican or a Democrat as its titular head, inexorably increases the anarcho-tyranny that political correctness necessitates, inhibits the process of creative destruction, and squelches personal freedoms. The beast cannot be tamed. Our only chance is to starve it.

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Thanks. I was wondering about this.

  2. The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are both jokes: each is a gaggle of its respective party's most conventional, intellectually incoherent, and shrill partisans.

    Two things jump out at me about this year's GOP exit polls:

    These contests have been dominated by old farts. In hardly any of these contests has the share of the under-30 vote reached so much as 10(!) percent.

    Paul does better among self-described moderate/liberal voters. It shows the corruption of political thought that neocon garbage is "conservative," so that dissenters therefrom — including, presumably, the Buchanans, Sailers, and Spencers in the public — are pushed into the box of "moderate" or "liberal".

  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Two things jump out at me about this year's GOP exit polls:

    These contests have been dominated by old farts. In hardly any of these contests has the share of the under-30 vote reached so much as 10(!) percent

    That is true of primaries in general, regardless of the year or of the party.

  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    One thing which is not commented on much is that Santorum, though often described as being "the conservative challenger to Romney", does better among Democrats and independents, while Romney does better among Republicans.

    Whether this is due to a "dirty tricks" campaign by Dems or just to Santorum appealing to more liberal voters is uncertain. I think the evidence points towards the former though.

  5. Anonymous at 11:00:

    Yes, primary election participants are usually mostly the elderly — but there are, so to speak, shades of gray (pun intended). The 2008 Obama-Clinton marathon saw noticeably higher participation from under-30's, and even more so those 30-44, than this year's Republican race (although 45 and older still had a healthy majority).

  6. Anon11:04,

    I think it almost certainly points to the former–dirty tricks–because self-described Democrats constitute only ~5% of the voters. Yes, Santorum has received a disproportionate share of these votes, but he also pulls relatively more of his support from those who describe themselves as "conservative" than Romney does, and that's a much bigger chunk, in most states more than 50% of the electorate.

  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    In Ohio, 33% of the electorate were non-Republican (Democrat or independent) and these people broke for Santorum. Romney won comparatively easily among Republicans – the race was a squeaker because among the one in three voters were not Republican, Santorum prevailed. 33% strikes me as quite a lot.

    If we accept that Santorum is the more conservative candidate (and there are problems of definition in doing so) then we have to conclude that registered GOP voters are less conservative than the large numbers of non-Republicans who vote in Republican primaries.

  8. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The 2008 Obama-Clinton marathon saw noticeably higher participation from under-30's, and even more so those 30-44, than this year's Republican race (although 45 and older still had a healthy majority).

    Obama famously drew a lot of young people to the voting booth, so that would skew things. Did John Kerry draw a lot of the young peoples vote? I don't know, but I doubt it.

    Plus, the GOP is made up of older people than the Democratic party. The average age of white people in America is greater than that of blacks or Hispanics.

  9. Anon,

    Touche. I looked at a handful of polls, but Ohio's number is substantially higher.

    There is also the issue of self-described conservative Democrats (presumably a large chunk of those not just trying to cause discord on the GOP side going for Santorum)–do they tend to be further to the political right than self-described moderate Republicans (presumably for Romney)?

  10. Anon,

    A handful when I made that ~5% estimate, that is, re: the Democratic percentage (though I did not include independents in that number).

  11. Santorum is like a more successful version of Ron Paul. (Paul being another Republican who draws a disproportionate share of his support from outside the Republican party.)

  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "It's too bad tea partiers apparently don't realize that the modern bureaucratic state, whether it has a Republican or a Democrat as its titular head, inexorably increases the anarcho-tyranny that political correctness necessitates, inhibits the process of creative destruction, and squelches personal freedoms. The beast cannot be tamed. Our only chance is to starve it."

    Oh, I think you're jumping to an unsupported conclusion here. They probably do realize it – they simply don't believe the old wackjob can get elected and are making the rational choice, which is selecting the most electable candidate.

    The realistic choice isn't an execution and a pardon. It's an execution and a stay of execution.


    Haumea

  13. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Let me also add that the Ron Paul is as bad as the other candidates because he piggybacks on politically correct memes of the left as well.

    Blaming everything on the fed as opposed to challenging PC memes (as e.g. Gingrich occasionally does) does nothing to reverse PC. Starving the beast cannot work until PC is demonstrated to be the lie that it is.

    Ron Paul's done nothing to fight the narrative, he has merely adopted it while shifting the blame onto easier targets.


    Haumea

  14. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Let me suggest an alternative scenario: starving the beast does not need a Ron Paul (as if he could do so by dictate!) It needs a grassroots movement to adopt a strong Spending Limit amendment to the Constitution. This will take time.

    Any one guy can be Alinskied a whole lot easier than a nation (not that the left hasn't tried.)

    Anarchotyranny operates on the principle of astroturfing. But the principle of "Breitbart Is Here" can be a counterweight.

    No ratcheting – blowback.

    Haumea

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