Tea Party Stats

Today’s Rasmussen Reports has two surveys that relate directly to the Tea Party movement. The first is in Nevada, where Sharron Angle leads Harry Reid by 48-41 among likely voters. Eight percent prefer “some other candidate;” those, presumably, are the ones who would like to get rid of Reid but have serious reservations about Ms. Angle. Attitudes may change, in either direction, as voters learn more about the Republican nominee, but for now, at least, fears that the Tea Party movement has generated a weak candidate look overblown.
The second survey typifies Rasmussen’s knack for asking interesting questions. He asked adults (not likely voters) whether the government is a threat to individual rights, or a protector of individual rights. By a 48-37 margin, Americans see the government more as a threat to their rights than as their guarantor.
Liberals view Tea Partiers as weirdos largely because they do not understand why Americans would see their government as a threat. To liberals, government represents all that is good about the human condition. (I might see it that way if, like so many liberals, I was living on government checks.) As the Rasmussen survey indicates, however, the idea that government represents a threat to our liberties is not a fancy of the lunatic fringe; rather, it is the view of a plurality of Americans. As it was, of course, the opinion of the founders.