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Old August 20th, 2011, 11:05 PM   #18
kerryann
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I am sorry they were following up on their original research from that time peroid but asking the same small sample of people who were originally polled:
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The professors were following up on research they conducted in 2006 and 2007 for their book "American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us" and decided to add the tea party and atheists to their list of survey queries. By going back to many of the same respondents, the professors gleaned several interesting facts about the tea party.

One of their more surprising findings, Campbell concedes, (and one drawing national attention) is that the tea party drew a lower approval rating than Muslims and atheists. That put the tea party below 23 other entries--including Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Republicans and Democrats--that the professors included on their survey of "a representative sample of 3,000 Americans."

By examining which respondents became supporters of the tea party, Campbell and Putnam's survey "casts doubt on the tea party's 'origin story,' " they write in the Times--though, in fairness, it's perhaps difficult to generalize on the movement's origins from a poll sample of 3,000 respondents.
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