A new Rasmussen poll said 51 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the tea parties held nationwide last week, including 32% who say their view of the events is very favorable. The poll said 33 percent view the tea parties unfavorably and 15 percent weren’t sure. But when respondents were categorized by class, the figures were more startling. Rasmussen said, “While half the nation has a favorable opinion of last Wednesday’s events, the nation’s Political Class has a much dimmer view—just 13% of the political elite offered even a somewhat favorable assessment while 81% said the opposite. Among the Political Class, not a single survey respondent said they had a very favorable opinion of the events while 60% shared a very unfavorable assessment.” There is in fact a wide gap between the Political Class and Mainstream on a number of issues.
Rasmussen says Mainstream and Political Class respondents are established for polling purposes by answering a set of questions—who the respondent trusts more (the people or political leaders), whether the federal government is a special interest group, and whether government and big business work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors. A score is assigned for each answer. The Political Class falls in a range of scores of -2 or less while Mainstream respondents are defined by agreeing with mainstream view on at least 2 of 3 questions and not agreeing with the political class on any questions.
Some leftwing extremist celebs, presumably Political Class types, called tea party goers “racist” and a few like one comedian on MSNBC had a field day making adolescent jokes about the term ‘teabagging.’
A CNN anchor verbally attacked one tea partygoer, drilling him with questions about Obama’s $400 annual tax credit for individuals in mid-to-low income ranges. President Barack Obama’s go-to adviser David Axelrod saw the protests as potentially unhealthy. Those personalities would definitely be typical Political Class types.
Those who chose to hold a protest about federal spending, taxes, bailouts and a number of other political issues were not all Republicans, by the way. This is where many pundits miss the boat. Libertarians and Ron Paul supporters who view the Constitution as the document that holds the nation together under a limited federal umbrella were key in the success of these protests. This same constituency criticized the Bush administration harshly on many issues. And I’ve personally heard from quite a few Democrats who were against the bailouts.
Rasmussen said, “On many issues, there is a bigger gap between the Political Class and Mainstream Americans than between Mainstream Republicans and Mainstream Democrats. That was true on the tea parties, but Mainstream Republicans do express a more positive view of the protests than Mainstream Democrats. Still, a majority (54%) of Mainstream Democrats had a favorable opinion of the tea parties.”
Those Democrats with a favorable opinion might give new meaning to Axelrod’s “potentially unhealthy” prognosis.
Those in the Political Class tend to get uneasy when constituents pay attention to what Washington is doing. The Rasmussen Poll reflects the growing distance between American citizens and their government on key issues, regardless of political party affiliation.
Tea party poll shows great divide between 'Political Class' and 'Mainstream' by Kay B. Day