Poll: Tea Party Members Pro-Life on Abortion, Oppose Barack Obama More
by Steven Ertelt
October 5, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) – The Tea Party movement is, in some ways, defining the 2010 election by virtue of its opposition to expanding government, ObamaCare and desire to remove incumbent elected officials. But the question for some pro-life advocates is whether the movement is merely fiscally libertarian or also pro-life.
The Public Religion Research Institute conducted a wide-scale national survey of members of the Team Party movement to determine the makeup of those who say they are affiliated with it.
It is the first survey to measure in-depth what self-described Tea Party movement members say about themselves and it finds the movement is more conservative than libertarian, strongly Republican, and strongly Christian.
Compared with the general public, Tea Party members are decidedly pro-life — with 63 percent saying abortion should become illegal in all cases (26 percent) or most cases (37%) compared with just 35 percent taking a pro-abortion position saying all abortions should remain legal (8%) or legal in most cases (27%).
PRRI’s survey compared those results with self-described Christian conservative voters and found Tea Party members were less pro-life but not by a considerable amount.
Christian conservative, or evangelical, voters come in at a 69 percent pro-life clip (29 percent wanting all abortions illegal and 41 percent wanting most) while just 28 percent say they want all (6%) or most (22%) abortions legal.
Tom McClusky of the Family Research Cuoncil is not surprised by the results.
"Of the Tea Party events I’ve attended I’ve always met people who were well rounded conservatives (fiscal responsible, socially moral and believe in a strong national defense.) The only time I see division among branches of conservative thought is by wonks in DC as opposed to activists in the states," he said.
"In fact of the different politically or policy tinted gatherings I’ve gone to the closest example I can think of that compares to Tea Party gatherings are the Marches for Life every January – with activists coming in around the country using home made signs and fed up with a government trying to grab too much power," he added.
Tea Party members are more aligned with the Republican Party than Christian conservative voters with 48 percent saying they are GOP supporters, 41 percent saying they are independent, and just 10 percent favoring Democrats. Christian conservative voters are 39 percent Republican, 34 percent independent and almost a quarter say they are Democrats.
Tea Party members are also less inclined to support pro-abortion President Barack Obama than Christian conservatives.
Some 75 percent say they have very unfavorable (53%) or mostly unfavorable (22%) views of Obama’s job performance while only 25 percent of Tea Party backers say they have a very favorable (14%) or mostly favorable view (11%).
Christian conservatives dislike Obama on a 59-40 percent margin with a 38/21 percent split saying they have very or mostly unfavorable views and a 20/20 split of those saying they are mostly or very favorable of the pro-abortion president.
Last month, pro-life attorney Tom Glessner wrote an opinion column urging Tea Party supporters to take seriously abortion concerns as well as economic.
"There is a raging debate among Tea-Party leaders regarding the role social issues, such as abortion, should play in their agenda. Many argue that these issues are divisive and should be downplayed in order to attract the broadest coalition possible to bring about economic change. While most participants in the Tea-Party movement express pro-life sentiments they do not apparently make the connection between abortion and our economic plight — but they should," he explained.
It appears many Tea Party members are following Glessner’s lead.
Related web sites:
Tea party poll
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