2010 Post-Election Tea Party Survey Results
Basis for Planning
Survey respondents were very conscientious, responding thoughtfully to essentially all questions. Respondents appeared to have experienced all of the surveyed Election Impact Capabilities, with an average of 85% of survey respondents having pursued each of the capabilities listed in the Direct Questions. Many respondents mentioned multiple impacts on the Election in the verbatim comment sections, each of which was counted as a unique response and tallied in the total. Our hope is that this survey can be an integral source of data as local Tea Parties everywhere initiate their planning for 2011 and beyond.
In verbatim comments, the Tea Party existence was recognized as having had a major impact on the Election and respondents view “Tea Party” growth as a major future focus opportunity. The importance of cross-organization Tea Party collaboration, organization, and communications was also stressed. Respondents also stated that education should play a major role in aligning and growing membership.
Furthermore, verbatim comments indicate that Door-to-Door Canvassing is viewed as being most effective in impacting the Election, although many were concerned that the full GOTV potential was not realized due to lack of volunteers. Many recognize the need for more conservative candidates, as we proceed as a Tea Party movement. Money was barely cited as a positive or negative, nor as a future focus item.
Verbatim Comments and Direct Question responses were generally in agreement. Specifically, Door-to-Door Canvassing received one of the highest election impact scores. Other capabilities that scored equally high were Voter Guides and Candidate Nights, although the latter was not mentioned as much in verbatim comments. Volunteer Phone Banks and Candidate Endorsements had identical, but significantly lower election impact scores, with Robo-Calling being lowest.
Voter Fraud is a major concern to survey respondents, with 98% being very or somewhat concerned. Many of the comments focused on this concern, with many respondents offering examples and potential solutions.
Worked Best to impact Election: Door-to-Door Canvassing was viewed as most effective at 25% of total responses, consistent with Precinct Organizing Best Practices. The Tea Party message, education, and principle based Voting Guides were also highly valued for impacting the Election.
Did Not Work Well to impact Election: Get-Out-The-Vote efforts were not as effective as they could be due to lack of volunteers. Indirect voter communication methods, such as using Media and Volunteer Phone Banking/ Robo-calls, were not as effective as hoped for. The GOP and Candidate Endorsements were not viewed as being very effective in impacting the Election.
Future Focus to impact Elections: Grow individual Tea Party organizations using education, improve cross-organization collaboration, organization, and communications, and reach under-represented population segments. Focus on identifying more Conservative Candidates, get them elected with Precinct Organizing and GOTV, and monitor them with “Watch Dogs”. Four percent of the responses pertained to a continued focus on GOP Precinct Executives as a means to influence GOP Candidate selection.
Learnings from which others can benefit: Continue to grow Tea Party movement, independent of GOP, and find ways to better work together. Importance of Precinct Organizing and Volunteers to impact elections. Importance of identifying more Conservative Candidates. Using Education to demonstrate that Tea Party principles are not in the minority.
Direct Questions on Election Impact: 85% of survey respondents, on average, pursued each of the election impact capabilities listed in Direct Questions. Findings were generally consistent with best practices. Door-to-Door Canvassing, Candidate Nights, and Voter Guides received the highest election impact scores, i.e. with a 4.1 average. Volunteer Phone Banks and Candidate Endorsements had identical election impact scores of 3.3, with Robo-Calling last with a 2.0 score.
Survey Respondents: This survey analyses is based on responses from fifty-three Tea Party leaders from thirteen states. These states were: California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio.
VERBATIM COMMENT BREAKOUTS
WHAT WORKED BEST TO IMPACT
THE 2010 ELECTION?
WHAT DID NOT WORK WELL TO IMPACT
THE 2010 ELECTION?
GOING FORWARD, WHAT SHOULD THE “TEA PARTY”
MOVEMENT FOCUS ON TO IMPACT FUTURE ELECTIONS?
WHAT ARE YOUR KEY LEARNINGS FROM WHICH
OTHERS CAN BENEFIT?
DIRECT QUESTION BREAKOUTS