Results of the 2010 American Values Survey are based on telephone
interviews conducted among a national random sample of 3,013 adults (age 18 and
over) between September 1 and September 14, 2010.
Among the top findings:
- The survey confirmed several attributes of the Tea Party
movement. Compared to the general population, they are
more likely to be non-Hispanic white, are more supportive of small
government, are overwhelmingly supportive of Sarah Palin, and report that Fox
News is their most trusted source of news about politics and current
- But the survey challenged much of the other conventional wisdom about
Americans who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement:
- Nearly half (47%) also say they are part of the religious right or
conservative Christian movement. Among the more than 8-in-10 (81%) who
identify as Christian within the Tea Party movement, 57% also consider
themselves part of the Christian conservative movement.
- They make up just 11% of the adult population—half the size of the
conservative Christian movement (22%).
- They are mostly social conservatives, not libertarians on social
issues. Nearly two-thirds (63%) say abortion should be illegal in all or most
cases, and less than 1-in-5 (18%) support allowing gay and lesbian couples to
- They are largely Republican partisans. More than three-quarters say
they identify with (48%) or lean towards (28%) the Republican Party. More than
8-in-10 (83%) say they are voting for or leaning towards Republican candidates
in their districts, and nearly three-quarters (74%) of this group report usually
supporting Republican candidates.
- A majority (54%) of voters say they would be more likely to vote for a
candidate who supported health care reform, including 51% of independent
voters and 79% of Democratic voters. Nearly 6-in-10 (59%) Republican voters say
they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supported health care
- Nearly 6-in-10 (58%) Americans favor a policy that provides a future path
to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for several
years. Three-quarters of Americans also say immigration reform policies
should be decided at the national level.
- Public support for same-sex marriage increased by 8 points from 2008 to
2010 (29% to 37%). Half of Democrats, 4-in-10 independents, and less than
1-in-5 (17%) Republicans support allowing gay and lesbian people to
see full results here: http://www.publicreligion.org/research/?id=386
- Over the past five years, significantly more Americans report their views
have shifted on the issue of rights for gay and lesbian people than on the issue
of abortion (25% to 14% respectively).