The most startling, to me at least, is the extraordinary support for both birtherism and Rush among self-ID’d Tea Party members in all three states. They reject Obama’s U.S. nativity by margins of 56/25 in OH, 62/22 in TN, and 54/24 in GA. Tea Folk also do not seem to share the issues with Limbaugh’s slut-shaming, approving of him by margins of 73/11 in OH, 72/12 in TN, and 69/14 in GA. Evangelicals are just as likely as Tea Folk (with whom, of course, they overlap greatly) to be birthers (50/25 in OH, 53/24 in TN, and 50/25 in GA); but do support Rush a bit less (54/23 in OH, 51/26 in TN, and 53/25 in GA). Indeed, it’s probable the varying sizes of the evangelical segment of the electorate (43% in OH, 66% in TN and 55% in GA) largely explain the statewide variations on these questions.
The other number that jumps out from the crosstabs are pretty notable generational splits. 18-45 year-olds reject birtherism by 54/27 in OH and 48/28 in GA, though in heavily evangelical TN they favor it 46/37. Over-65 voters are big birtherists everywhere: 44/34 in OH, 52/28 in TN and 47/30 in GA. Younger voters only narrowly approve of Rush in all three states, while over-65s give him near-majority support.
Even in the relatively monolithic GOP, some issues produce real divisions. But to the extent that the noisy “activist base” is older, more evangelical, and more pro-Tea Party than the party as a whole, it’s no wonder there’s incessant pressure on GOP pols to lean hard and sometimes crazy right.
White House Fact Sheet here.