A 'Subterranean Agenda'? Racial Attitudes, Presidential Evaluations and Tea Party Membership

Angie Maxwell

University of Arkansas

T. Wayne Parent

Louisiana State University


APSA 2012 Annual Meeting Paper

Recent research suggests that fiscally conservative policy preferences and disapproval of President Obama are significant predictors of Tea Party membership (Maxwell and Parent, 2012). Unfortunately, however, we know very little about the reasons why Tea Party members so aggressively disapprove of President Obama. While Tea Party members adamantly deny that President Obama’s race plays any role in their motivations, their critics argue that racial attitudes are a primary reason why individuals choose to join the movement. In this article, using national survey data conducted by Knowledge Networks (n=1649), we explore the possibility that three unique racial attitudes are important predictors of Tea Party membership. Specifically, we investigate the role of symbolic racism, racial stereotypes, and ethnocentrism as predictors of self-identified Tea Party membership among whites.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 38

Keywords: Tea Party, Ethnocentrism, Symbolic Racism, Racial Stereotypes, Obama

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Date posted: July 15, 2012 ; Last revised: July 25, 2012

Suggested Citation

Maxwell, Angie and Parent, T. Wayne, A 'Subterranean Agenda'? Racial Attitudes, Presidential Evaluations and Tea Party Membership (2012). APSA 2012 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2107827

Contact Information

Angie Maxwell (Contact Author)
University of Arkansas ( email )
United States
T. Wayne Parent
Louisiana State University ( email )
Baton Rouge, LA
United States
2253620295 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN

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