As Tea Partiers have their day, a new poll sheds more light on what they're all about

But it gets more fun when you dig a little deeper into the poll, such as on the question of race.

You remember how Glenn Beck mentioned that he believed that Barack Obama had a problem with white people?  Well, though not a majority in this survey, but the Tea Party crowd also worries about Obama and blacks.

More than half say the policies of the administration favor the poor, and 25 percent think that the administration favors blacks over whites — compared with 11 percent of the general public.

They are more likely than the general public, and Republicans, to say that too much has been made of the problems facing black people.

I have publicly disagreed with those (most famously Keith Olbermann) who believe there is a latent racial component to the Tea Party rallies.  Again, having covered several last year throughout the Tampa Bay area, I did not find that element present, and I think I know it when I see it.  That's not to say that some of that isn't present (such as the big 9/12 event in Washington last year), but it's just interesting to see that in the poll.

Also, 57% of those surveyed have a favorable impression of George W. Bush,  59% a favorable impression of Glenn Beck, and 66% a favorable impression of Sarah Palin.  However, by a 47% to 40% margin, they do not think she is presidential material.

There's also some ignorance out there.  As Bruce Bartlett wrote in Forbes recently, "for an anti-tax group, they don't know much about taxes."   Although things are likely to change for high earners in the future, the fact of the matter is that in the Obama administration, most people have received tax cuts.  The only tax increase that has come under his watch so far is the federal cigarette tax on a pack of cigarettes.  However, the Tea Parties believe otherwise when asked that question, as 64% say incorrectly that they've gone up for the majority of Americans.

There's all sorts of interesting reactions on social policy questions in the poll as well to check out.

Today is tax day of course, but for the 2nd straight year it's also a rallying point for Obama administration critics to collectively come together around the belief that the federal government is spending too much money.  In other words, the perfect occasion for Tea Party members to celebrate what they hate about America.

There will be several events in the Tampa Bay area taking place today amongst these activists.

The Lakeland Tea Party 2010 is scheduled for 5:30-8 p.m. rally at the Kryger Overlook Park on Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Lakeland.

The 13 Patriots Tea Party 2010 Tax Day rally is scheduled between 4-7 p.m. at the Sarasota Bayfront in Sarasota.

Manatee 2010 Tax Day Tea Party event will take place between 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Mixon Farms, 2712 26th Ave. E. in Bradenton.

And the Tampa Bay area Tea Parties are going downtown, holding a 4:30-8 p.m. rally at Joe Chillura Park, 602 E. Kennedy Blvd.

Not wanting to feel left out, some Hillsborough Democrats say they want to crash that Tea Party, and are organizing around that.

In 2009, these rallies (along with Glenn Beck events) were probably the biggest in the country in terms of a national movement.  We covered the Tampa Tea Party rally last April 15, where one business professional man accused me of wimping out because I opted not to travel with him to his office, where he could absolutely prove to me that perpetual whipping boy Acorn was getting federal stimulus money (they weren't, though that didn't stop Glenn Beck from saying otherwise).

There were other big Tea Party events throughout the year, and though pundits will want to analyze the size of the events, the power of the Tea Party movement won't be reflected one way or another in those rallies, but what happens in GOP primaries later this year, and of course, what happens in November.

Meanwhile, the NY Times has teamed up with CBS News on a new poll about the self-described Tea Partiers.  The headline in the paper this morning is that they are wealthier and more educated than the general public.

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