May. 10th, 2010

2010 Multi-state Survey on Race & Politics

From February 8 through March 15, 2010, WISER (the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Sexuality) contacted people in seven states. They asked them about whether they "strongly approved", "somewhat approved", "somewhat disapproved", or "strongly disapproved" of the tea party. Then they asked other questions.

One set of questions is whether people of a given ethnic group are "hard-working", "intelligent", or "trustworthy". The results put a lower bound on the percentage of people who believe that those attributes correlate with race.

Among Whites who "strongly approve" of the tea party,

BlacksLatinos Asians WhitesDifference
Hard-Working 35% 54% 56% 49%21%
Intelligent 45% 44% 62% 59%18%
Trustworthy 41% 42% 53% 49%12%

We know at least 21% of these White tea-partiers believe that Blacks are not hard-working, but that Asians are. (We don't know the correlation. It might be that 44% of tea partiers think that NO group is hard-working. It might be that the 35% who think Blacks are hard-working think that all the others are not hard-working. The only thing we can say from the data is that at least 21% of the results changed depending on race.)

We can do the same analysis among the polar-opposite group.

Among Whites who "strongly oppose" the tea party,
Blacks Latinos Asians Whites Difference
Hard-Working 55% 58% 71% 56% 16%
Intelligent 59% 56% 65% 69% 13%
Trustworthy 57% 56% 70% 72% 16%

We know that at least 16% of Whites who strongly oppose the tea party believe that Blacks are not hard-working, but that Asians are. (Exactly the same caveats apply.)

Because both groups are White, we can also measure how differently the supporters and opponents see the other races: Take the difference between how they see Whites and how they see others. For example, among the strong supporters of the Tea Party, 56% consider Asians to be hard-working, but 49% consider Whites to be hard-working. Therefore, the difference is +7%. Remember that this table only measures a minimum difference.

Among the strong supporters of the Tea Party:
Blacks Latinos Asians
Hard-Working -14% +5% +7%
Intelligent -14% -15% +3%
Trustworthy -8% -7% +4%

Average of the absolute values: 8.5556%

Among the strong opponents of the Tea Party:
Blacks Latinos Asians
Hard-Working -1% +2% +15%
Intelligent -10% -13% -4%
Trustworthy -15% -16% +4%

Average of the absolute values: 8.8889%

In this data, the difference between White tea partiers and Whites who strongly oppose the tea party seems to be as much about cynicism as about race. Whites who strongly oppose the tea party are more likely to consider anyone -- no matter the race -- more hard-working, intelligent, and trustworthy than Whites who strongly support the tea party. When you look at how much each group sees "the other" as different, they disagree on how the other is different, but they are similar on how much the other is different.

On the other hand, the same source gives plenty of differences between the tea partiers and their opponents. Here's where they disagree by more than 40%:

Tea Party Supporters Tea Party Opponents
Generations of slavery and
discrimination have created
conditions that make it difficult
for Blacks to work their way out
of the lower class (% Disagree)



It's really a matter of some
people not trying hard enough; if
Blacks would only try harder they
could be just as well off as Whites.
(% Agree)



Gay or lesbian couples should be
allowed to legally adopt children.
(% Agree)



We don't give everyone an
equal chance in this country.
(% Agree)



If people were treated more
equally, we'd have many
fewer problems in this
country. (% Agree)



President Obama is "Knowledgeable".
(% Agree)



President Obama is "Moral".
(% Agree)



I've bolded what I consider the most important question. Tea Party supporters believe that we already give everyone an equal chance. Tea Party
opponents don't.

What do you think? Take care, all.



Brent "Chip" Edwars

May 2010

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