As the Tea Party movement grows in strength and shows promise to affect the outcome of elections across the country, a new report from the Sam Adams Alliance has sought to understand its supporters’ political motivations.
The study entitled “The Early Adopters: Reading the Tea Leaves” found that activists are motivated by feelings of responsibility to future generations and belief in America’s founding principles. It also discovered evidence that they are a diverse group composed of individuals who—often for the first time in their lives—are becoming involved to change the political landscape and hold elected officials more accountable.
"A lot of surveys have focused on the Tea Party movement, but they’ve been about what others think of them," said Sam Adams Alliance chairman Eric O’Keefe.
"We decided to learn what the Tea Party leaders are up to [by asking them]," he added.
When queried about what issues are "very important" to them, a total of 92 percent of respondents said "budget," some 85 percent pointed to "economy," and 80 percent singled out "defense."
The poll’s authors also found that 86 percent oppose the formation of a third-party and that 62 percent identified themselves as Republicans. However, only a minority (36 percent) support Sarah Palin’s potential presidential bid in 2012.
Sam Adams Alliance is a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness of free market principles and policies.