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Change They Can't Believe InThe Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America$
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Christopher S. Parker and Matt A. Barreto

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163611

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163611.001.0001

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Who Likes Tea? Sources of Support for the Tea Party

Who Likes Tea? Sources of Support for the Tea Party

(p.66) 2 Who Likes Tea? Sources of Support for the Tea Party
Change They Can't Believe In

Christopher S. Parker

Matt A. Barreto

Princeton University Press

This chapter tests the claim that Barack Obama, and what he is perceived to represent, plays a key role in why people support the Tea Party. The change represented by the election of Barack Obama increases the attractiveness of the Tea Party to the mainly white, middle-aged, middle-class, relatively well-educated, largely male slice of America who believe he is committed to the destruction of “their” country. Tea Party supporters tend to be relatively financially secure, white, mostly male, and Protestant—many of whom are evangelicals. In the end, sympathy for the Tea Party is generally motivated by conservative principles as well as out-group hostility. Critics, however, claim that the Tea Party is driven by intolerance.

Keywords:   Barack Obama, Tea Party, white males, middle-class males, Protestants, evangelicals, conservative principles, intolerance

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