The results of a study by political scientist Alan Abramowitz on the ideological motivations of Tea Party members, via
In order to compare the effects of the independent variables, I calculated the change in the probability of supporting the Tea Party associated with an increase of one standard deviation above the mean on each independent variable with all other independent variables set at their means. For example, an increase of one standard deviation above the mean on the ideology scale is estimated to produce an increase of almost 19 percentage points in Tea Party support.
The results in Table 5 show that ideological conservatism was by far the strongest predictor of Tea Party support. In addition to conservatism, however, both racial resentment and dislike for Barack Obama had significant effects on support for the Tea Party. These two variables had much stronger effects than party identification.
The statistical effects of such components such as education, income, church attendence, sex, and party identification were considered in the study. As Drum notes, however, the resulting analysis strongly suggests that "conservative ideology and racial resentment swamp every other factor."
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