Most Iowa Republican caucus-goers are conservative, but that doesn't mean that they're all alike. According to a new poll, Tea Party Republicans in Iowa are a lot like religious conservatives—with anger issues.
A new Quinnipiac University poll of likely Republican caucus voters shows some of the differences between the Tea Party and the born-again base of the GOP. In a Venn Diagram, the two groups would overlap, but not completely. On most issues, both support the same political positions. The difference is in their demeanor.
Here are three ways born-again Christians and the Tea Party are different.
1. Huckabee vs Trump
Born-again Christians are Mike Huckabee's base. They give him high approval ratings. They're much less enamored with Donald Trump. Tea Party voters, in contrast, are Trump's biggest supporters.
2. Government Shut-down over Planned Parenthood
Both camps are strongly against abortion and dislike Planned Parenthood. The vast majority of both groups say that the federal government should no longer fund Planned Parenthood. The difference lies in how willing they are to make defunding a make-or-break issue. A majority of Republicans in Iowa oppose forcing a government shut-down over defunding Planned Parenthood. Born-again voters are tip towards a government shut-down. Tea Party voters are the ones who are the most willing to force a shut-down, with two-in-three supporting such a strategy.
3. Feelings toward federal government
Why is the Tea Party so in favor of Trump and a possible shut-down? Anger and distrust of the federal government. No group in the GOP loves what the federal government is doing. But while other Republicans say they are "dissatisfied but not angry" with the federal government, a majority of the Tea Party says they feel "angry" when they think of how the federal government works. The Tea Party, more than born-again Christians and other Republicans are more likely to say they "hardly ever" trust the federal government to do what is right.
@TobinGrant blogs for Religion News Service at Corner of Church and State, a data-driven conversation on religion and politics. He is a political science professor at Southern Illinois University and associate editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
© 2015 Religion News Service. All rights reserved.
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