The tea party movement is still a bit enigmatic, and journalists are still in the process of mapping it and figuring out who, exactly, it is comprised of.
Adding to the collective body of knowledge about tea-partyism, Gallup released a poll today on the leanings and democraphics of poll respondents who say they support the tea party movement. Marc discussed tea party supporters' political identifications earlier, but I'm more concerned with their demographics.
According to Gallup, tea partiers are no different from the rest of the country. In terms of age, employment status, and educational background, the tea partiers are virtually the same as a cross-section of all U.S. adults. 5% fewer are black; 4% more are white. 6% fewer make under $30,000 per year; 5% more make over $50,000. Tea partiers are more likely to be men than women.
Here are two Gallup charts, lumped together:
This set of data, taken from surveys of 1,033 adults total (28% of whom were tea party supporters), fights the perception of who the tea partiers are, at least as it's presented sometimes by left- and center-leaning (or non-leaning) media sources: that the tea partiers are a bunch of angry white people, or that they're the working-class whites who, liberals have long complained, vote against their interests by supporting Republicans. Or that a lot of them are unemployed, as were the jobless tea party activists interviewed by Kate Zernike for this New York Times piece.