Author Topic: Analytically rigorous experiment shows racism increases support for Tea Party  (Read 8652 times)

Greg Davidson

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What if we could conduct a test with two groups selected at random from the population of white American voters, in which the only variable would be that early in the survey one group would see a picture of President Obama in which his skin color has been artificially darkened? Much later in the survey, we would ask them if they support the Tea Party. 

If racism were unrelated to support of the Tea Party, we would expect to see the same level of support by those who had seen the accurate picture as well as those who had seen the darkened picture.  There might be some random variation, but nothing statistically significant.

The actual results were that the population of respondants who saw the darkened picture were 22% more likely to support the Tea Party. There were four other different test run, and all indicated that racism was more important than libertarian beliefs in predicting support for the Tea Party.  This doesn't mean that every person in this coalition is racist, merely that racism is a strong driver of who and why people chose to support the Tea Party.   

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2770186

These studies were conducted over three years, so the data is not up-to-date with respect to the politics of the moment surrounding Donald Trump, but it is noteworthy that earlier allegiance to the Tea Party has been strongly correlated to eary support for Trump.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 05:13:55 PM by Greg Davidson »

TheDeamon

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These studies were conducted over three years, so the data is not up-to-date with respect to the politics of the moment surrounding Donald Trump, but it is noteworthy that earlier allegiance to the Tea Party has been strongly correlated to eary support for Trump.

Prior Tea Party allegiance and Trump support doesn't surprise me, I suspected a large part of the drive to support Trump was a borderline visceral response to the Republican Party essentially pissing on the Tea Party over the past few election cycles, particularly the last one where they("The Establishment") went to very great lengths to defeat the Tea Party.

Basically it's the, "Ok, we tried to work inside the system, we even tried to play by your rules to do so, and you just rolled right over the top of us and demonstrated just how rotten the system is. Time to condemn this termite infested wooden structure, and burn it down." Trump just happens to have become their flamethrower of choice to make sure it burns.

Which runs us back to Trump is a terible candidate, and it doesn't matter. He wasn't selected by most of his "supporters" because they think he's a good presidential pick.

He was selected because "he's the right man for the job" of completely screwing up the establishment's long held political order in Washington D.C.

So it doesn't matter how terrible his candidacy is, he's going to get votes because of exactly that. He's a giant proverbial wrecking ball aimed at the Washington D.C. political elites. So long as he doesn't do anything to dispel that image, he'll have plenty of support.

Or to put it another way: He is Thomas Jefferson's "Revolution at the ballot box" pick.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 06:05:56 PM by TheDeamon »

Fenring

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Greg, it is entirely predictable that people with certain negative agendas would support a (supposedly) small-government and pro-liberty faction. The general reason for this is that having certain liberties enables all human behavior great capacity for expression, both good and bad. You'll see a quite varied list of groups supporting anti-big government positions, which can include libertarians, religious groups, Austrian system economists, racists, opponents of corruption, proponents of chaos, etc. There is both good and bad in removing controls on behavior, and consequently a strange alphabet soup of colorful groups see themselves as benefitting from reduced Federal interference. Some of them believe everyone would be better off that way, while others no doubt see advantage for their group and aren't as concerned with the entire population. Some of them just want to get away with stuff without any policeman to tell them to stop, while others want the policeman but on the state level.

I think you're probably right in what you say, but saying it out of context can be misleading. 

AI Wessex

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The actual results were that the population of respondants who saw the darkened picture were 22% more likely to support the Tea Party. There were four other different test run, and all indicated that racism was more important than libertarian beliefs in predicting support for the Tea Party.  This doesn't mean that every person in this coalition is racist, merely that racism is a strong driver of who and why people chose to support the Tea Party.   
I'm actually not at all surprised by this.  You survey a bunch of white guys whose political "principles" are driven by fear, hatred and indifference and they'll naturally reject the "other" due to their heightened sensitivity toward any potential threat to their well-being.  IMO, it's not that Obama is going to rob or kill them, but he is a member of the visually recognizable group they think would if given the chance.

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Or to put it another way: He is Thomas Jefferson's "Revolution at the ballot box" pick.
I reacted to that with an almost physical pain, not because you sully Jefferson's legacy, but because you might be right.  However, it would be interesting to see side-by-side comparisons of his and Trump's principles for their revolutions.  This is one revolution I would take up the fight to prevent happening.

Seriati

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Nothing like starting a Monday with Science designed to make Democrats feel good about themselves.

So did you have an analytically rigorous experiment that you wanted to share, or are we supposed to find one on our own?

Greg Davidson

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Seriati, look at the link.  They had a somewhat random way of selecting respondents (thru Craig's list, etc.), but even more importantly they randomly divided those respondents into two groups.  When one of the two randomly selected groups was shown an artificially darkened picture of Obama, they were much more likely to say they supported the Tea Party.  The result was statistically significant. 

Seriati

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I did look at the "study," before I deliberately made my snarky comment.

LetterRip

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22% more likely doesn't tell us anything - how large was the effect size - is that 5 people or 500 people?

If the effect size is small, then most likely it is statistical noise.

LetterRip

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22% more likely doesn't tell us anything - how large was the effect size - is that 5 people or 500 people?

If the effect size is small, then most likely it is statistical noise.

Current surveys (Oct 2015) show tea party support at 17%.

Sample size is 255.

.17 * 255 = 43.6

43.6 * .22 = 9.6

So we are looking at an effect size of 10 people.

It would be extremely easy to get a sample by chance that has +5 in one group and -5 in another group (or some other variation adding to 10) so, I really don't think this likely tells us much.

TheDeamon

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Or to put it another way: He is Thomas Jefferson's "Revolution at the ballot box" pick.
I reacted to that with an almost physical pain, not because you sully Jefferson's legacy, but because you might be right.  However, it would be interesting to see side-by-side comparisons of his and Trump's principles for their revolutions.  This is one revolution I would take up the fight to prevent happening.

I didn't frame that fully, that wasn't meant to imply Jefferson would vote for Trump. It was going for Jefferson alluding to revolution at the ballot box in the place of an actual Revolution involving explosives, destruction, blood, and death.

Basically, Trump's the canary in proverbial political coal mine. The more sane Tea Party primary options(such as they were) probably lost out in large part due to trying to work inside the system, a system many have now pretty much written off. Which put them at only a single remove from "the establishment."

Meanwhile Trump was running around as anathema to that same "establishment" which made him their preferred pick without regard to his stance on any given issue.

More concerning should be what starts happening if the Democrats win with only a couple point lead at the ballot box, and repeat what Obama pulled in 2009 and take that as a mandate for their agenda. You think the Tea Party was bad? What's likely to follow in that case would probably make them look like girl scouts. Because their "f--- it" attempt at a "peaceful revolution" just failed....

And that group is likely to include people not in the foaming at the mouth radical category. People no sane person wants to see start contemplating violence as an acceptable option. The Democrats have loved to matter on about "violent right wing extremists" for decades now. I think we're nearing a tipping point where people are in peril of being about to discover exactly why that prospect is so terrifying to anyone who considers it within the context of the U.S. political spectrum.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 12:18:38 PM by TheDeamon »

AI Wessex

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More concerning should be what starts happening if the Democrats win with only a couple point lead at the ballot box, and repeat what Obama pulled in 2009 and take that as a mandate for their agenda.
When was the last time the winner didn't take winning as a mandate?

TheDeamon

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More concerning should be what starts happening if the Democrats win with only a couple point lead at the ballot box, and repeat what Obama pulled in 2009 and take that as a mandate for their agenda.
When was the last time the winner didn't take winning as a mandate?

Bill Clinton was an obvious one, as he infamously followed the polling data. And in the face of a possible Hillary win, having him around may help keep things from getting too extra, except for her not wanting to be Bill Clinton 2.0.

Both Bush presidencies were, albeit to a much lesser extent. You keep trying to forget how much popular support they had for what they did. Which is why the Democratic congressional delegations largely rolled over for them. It wasn't until later that popular opinion turned on them.

Obama on the other hand....

TheDeamon

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Bill Clinton was an obvious one, as he infamously followed the polling data. And in the face of a possible Hillary win, having him around may help keep things from getting too extreme, except for her not wanting to be Bill Clinton 2.0.

Fixed a typo, auto-complete fail on my tablet. Didn't have time to catch it before the editing timeout hit, obviously, as it's now several hours later. :)

rightleft22

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The GOP deliberate adoption of obstructionism in dealing with a Popular Black Democrat President, a policy made before he even took office, was and continues to be, at its foundation racist.

You reap what you sow, the rise of a ‘Reality TV’ nomine leading the GOP. 

rightleft22

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leonce-gaiter/republican-postcivil-righ_b_10021960.html
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“The election of a black President induced Republicans to throw gasoline on the racist kindling they’ve nurtured for decades. When democrats became the party of equal rights for blacks in the mid-sixties, racists sought a new home. They found it with Republicans; and Republicans have been quite mindful of that audience ever since.

Republicans recognized in the mid-sixties that the American Id—which lives in everyone raised within American history and culture—is a Klansman. Modern Republicans provoke that Id like lap dances provoke erections—and with just as much class.”

Seriati

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Whatever, it couldn't be the it was the election of the most radically left President since Carter that set them off.  Nope, despite ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE it must just be because he was black.

It couldn't be that they oppose autocratic dictates from any President, or that they are fundamentally opposed to the kind of sweeping policy reforms that he has proposed and implemented (and have been obviously and opening in many  cases for 40 years), nope, history must be disregarded, because you know he's black.  If he were white, Republicans would have been more than happy to join on socialized medical care, completely opening the borders and granting all illegal immigrants citizenship (no questions asked), granting the President the direct authority to make law, and impeaching any SC justices who opposed his agenda.  Yep, if only he was white, that's exactly how it would have worked.

DonaldD

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Given that Obama is only the second non-GOP president since Carter, and the other non-GOP president was Clinton, essentially a centrist, Obama basically couldn't have been anything BUT the most radically left president since Carter.  He was also the most moderately left president since Carter, and the most center-left president since Carter.

The whole "radically left" description never really matched Obama's body of work, although it matches the imagination of the hard core anti-Obama opposition to a tee.

Seriati

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Both Clinton and Bush II (16 total years) were centrists and closer to the center-left than Obama.  It's just opinion who's closer to the moderate left.  This President's policies are actually mostly autocratic, but to the extent he's acted he's far left.

cherrypoptart

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It also couldn't have anything to do with Obama's constant violations of the Constitution and the law, could it?

Twenty 9-0 Supreme Court Rulings Against – Obama Prepares Even More Power Grabs

By: Seton Motley | July 7th, 2014

"He's been slapped down at least 20 times by UNANIMOUS Supreme Court decisions. I believe I've mentioned this before.

http://www.redstate.com/diary/setonmotley/2014/07/07/twenty-9-0-supreme-court-rulings-obama-prepares-even-power-grabs/


Unanimous Supreme Court rulings are certainly noteworthy.  When a case lines up every single Justice – appointed by Democrats and Republicans both – the decision must be unbelievably clear cut.

Nine-to-nothings don’t happen very often.  The ever-overreaching Barack Obama Administration, however, is in historic fashion racking them up.  And they ain’t in its favor.

So there is bipartisanship in Washington – against this Administration.

When even the two Justices you just appointed – Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – are voting against you, just how far from the Constitutional path have you strayed?

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is no stranger to cases before the Court – though his record is more than a little better than the Administration’s.  And he has compiled the list of the unanimous-es against Administration over-action.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/381676/ted-cruz-obamas-20-unanimous-supreme-court-losses-outpace-bush-and-clinton-joel-gehrke

Twenty – in under six years.  There should in fact have been more, what with all the fundamental transforming going on.  But that’s still a lot.  And it doesn’t fully capture the breadth of the Administration’s rebukes.

“This tally does not capture all of the Obama Administration’s losing arguments, as it does not include unanimous rejections for more governmental power made in the Obama Administration’s friend-of-the-court (amicus) briefs supporting non-federal parties, which would put the Obama Administration’s losses much higher,” Cruz wrote."

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But I'm sure that couldn't have anything to do with anything. The only possible explanation must be racism.

Things like the government in D.C. violating court orders to issue concealed carry permits and Obama refusing to do his job and uphold the Constitution don't have anything to do with it either. The only logical explanation must be racism.

This study obviously found what they were looking for and stopped asking questions once they hit their magic number lest a larger sampling take the skew out of their stew.

TheDeamon

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This study obviously found what they were looking for and stopped asking questions once they hit their magic number lest a larger sampling take the skew out of their stew.

It also doesn't help that racism runs across a very broad spectrum, while they're wanting to present it as a binary option. The additional people who responded negatively to the darker image of President Obama? Better put them on a watch list, you never know when they're going to turn up for a KKK gathering to help erect and burn a cross in somebody's yard.  ::)

There are long standing racial and ethnic issues present in the US, some originated here, others were imported from abroad when they immigrated here. That stuff doesn't just disappear completely overnight, the last vestiges of it will take generations to fade away completely, for both sides. But just because there are vestigial examples of latent racist tendencies in broad portions of the population doesn't mean that they're deliberately attempting to undermine other people because of their racial or ethnic background. That isn't a legal issue, that's an awareness issue.

And as I think about it further with that "Obama study" they cited. I wonder what the outcome would be if someone attempted a comparable study among Democrats, in particular if they focused in areas with high concentrations of minorities. Something tells me the guy with lighter skin is going to see the reverse happen, with a much more pronounced skew. Of course, nobody from any "respectable centrist" organization, and certainly nobody on the left will even think of attempting such a study.

TheDeamon

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Both Clinton and Bush II (16 total years) were centrists and closer to the center-left than Obama.  It's just opinion who's closer to the moderate left.  This President's policies are actually mostly autocratic, but to the extent he's acted he's far left.

Well, if you're from outside the United States, all of our recent Presidents, bar Obama, have been right-wingers, including Bill Clinton. Obama is a slightly more difficult one to place internationally, but I'm under the impression most consider him centrist. But then, the US political center has historically been to the right of the rest of the world, and Europe in particular.

cherrypoptart

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Another problem with this study is that it just doesn't make any sense.

"Much later in the survey, we would ask them if they support the Tea Party."

So these people didn't know whether or not they supported the Tea Party before they saw a picture of Obama? They suddenly decided they supported it after they saw his darkened picture? But before that they didn't? That's not even logical. But then again I suppose racism isn't logical so it makes sense after all.   

rightleft22

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It couldn't be that they oppose autocratic dictates from any President, or that they are fundamentally opposed to the kind of sweeping policy reforms that he has proposed and implemented

The policy by the GOP to obstruct everything coming from the White House was made in meetings days after McCain lost the election - before Obama took office in 2008.

Perhaps in anticipation that he would be an autocratic president looking to implement sweeping policy reforms…  Bull Crap - Though no doubt this is what they convinced themselves of.

In the light of such obstructionism any policy that the White House managed to get though could only be labeled as autocratic and sweeping by the opposition… whatever the ‘sweeping’ policies were. 

The GOP is very effective in spinning a situation they effectively created and now look who leads them.
History will not be kind

The GOP lost its way when the only thing that matters to them is that the Party Wins. Trump is a winner, win win win

Seriati

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Both Clinton and Bush II (16 total years) were centrists and closer to the center-left than Obama.  It's just opinion who's closer to the moderate left.  This President's policies are actually mostly autocratic, but to the extent he's acted he's far left.

Well, if you're from outside the United States, all of our recent Presidents, bar Obama, have been right-wingers, including Bill Clinton. Obama is a slightly more difficult one to place internationally, but I'm under the impression most consider him centrist. But then, the US political center has historically been to the right of the rest of the world, and Europe in particular.
There are over 6 billion people in the world, to my knowledge barely more than half a billion can even arguably be claimed to be from countries where the US politicians would be on the right end of the spectrum.  Even in those countries its a mixed bag where they tolerate things that no part of the American polity would accept (blatant sexism, France, rampant Anti-Semitism, Europe generally).  Can you support this claim, or is it just another one of those things that are repeated because the left says they are true?

TheDeamon

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Both Clinton and Bush II (16 total years) were centrists and closer to the center-left than Obama.  It's just opinion who's closer to the moderate left.  This President's policies are actually mostly autocratic, but to the extent he's acted he's far left.

Well, if you're from outside the United States, all of our recent Presidents, bar Obama, have been right-wingers, including Bill Clinton. Obama is a slightly more difficult one to place internationally, but I'm under the impression most consider him centrist. But then, the US political center has historically been to the right of the rest of the world, and Europe in particular.
There are over 6 billion people in the world, to my knowledge barely more than half a billion can even arguably be claimed to be from countries where the US politicians would be on the right end of the spectrum.  Even in those countries its a mixed bag where they tolerate things that no part of the American polity would accept (blatant sexism, France, rampant Anti-Semitism, Europe generally).  Can you support this claim, or is it just another one of those things that are repeated because the left says they are true?

It's true because only the first world matters when they discuss such things. :)

Good point on my falling prey to it all the same.

Pete at Home

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Clinton and her allies have made some very transparent appeals to black chauvenism in their effort to shut down Bernie Sanders' campaign.  So I have no fracking sympathy for her allies' sanctimonious race violins when it comes to Trump.  Trump is just Kodos to Hillary's Kang.  A curse on them both and their galactic space lasers.