Tea Party more Christian than libertarian

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Followers of the U.S. Tea Party movement are likely to be Christian conservatives who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage, a survey released Tuesday said.

The American Values Survey by the Public Religion Research Institute found Tea Party supporters are also likely to support the Republican Party. Almost half, 48 percent, say they identify with the GOP and another 28 percent describe themselves as leaning Republican.


Eighty-one percent of Tea Partiers said they are Christians. More than half of those, 57 percent, identified themselves as Christian conservatives.

Almost two-thirds, 63 percent, would favor banning abortion in all or most cases, while only 18 percent support allowing same-sex couples to marry.

The survey found majority support for immigration reform among the population as a whole, with 58 percent supporting a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and 75 percent saying immigration policy is a matter for the federal government.

More than one-third, 37 percent, support same-sex marriage, compared to 29 percent two years ago. Half of Democrats, 40 percent of independents and 17 percent of Republicans support allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

One-quarter of those surveyed say their views on gay rights have changed in the past five years, compared to 14 percent whose views on abortion have changed.

The poll was conducted Sept. 1-14 with 3,013 respondents, aged 18 and older across the continental United States, reached by telephone. The data carry a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

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