According to a new poll from CBS and the New York Times, 92% of tea partiers are scared that America is moving towards socialism -- but in a strange twist, most of them seem to like it.
Despite the fear that socialism is coming to America, 62% of tea party supporters also support Social Security and Medicare. In fact, nearly half of them either benefit from Social Security or Medicare or have somebody in their immediate family who does. And about one-third are directly beneficiaries at least one of the programs, compared to about one-fifth of the population at large.
Some other highlights from the poll (NYT, CBS):
- 18% of Americans say they are tea party supporters.
- 66% of tea party supporters say they usually or always vote Republican. (Just 5% vote Democratic.)
- 73% say they are conservative.
- 41% believe Barack Obama was born in the United States.
- While 65% believe the Obama Administration treats blacks and whites equally, 56% believe it favors poor people over the middle-class and rich.
- 89% are white and 52% believe too much attention is paid to the problems facing African-Americans.
- 59% have a favorable view of Glenn Beck compared to 6% who view him unfavorably. (Among all Americans, the numbers are 18% and 17%.)
- 63% say they get most of their political news from Fox News Channel.
- 66% have a favorable view of Sarah Palin, compared to 12% who view her unfavorably. (Among all Americans, the numbers are 30% and 45%.)
- 24% believe citizens can be justified in taking violent action against the government.
- 52% believe the federal income taxes they pay are fair.
- 84% of the tea partiers believe their views reflect those of most Americans, but only 25% of all Americans agree (remember: 18% are tea partiers).
Explore more numbers on the NYT's interactive poll graphic.