The Tea Party has emerged as a political force on domestic issues, especially the national debt and the size and role of the federal government. Republican supporters of the Tea Party movement also have a distinct approach to national security and America’s role in the world. Tea Party Republicans favor an assertive foreign policy, are strong supporters of Israel and take a hard line against illegal immigration, according to surveys conducted this year by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
Among all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 40% agree with the Tea Party movement. For more on the demographics of GOP Tea Party supporters see “Obama Loses Ground in 2012 Reelection Bid,” July 28, 2011.
Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who agree with the Tea Party are far more likely than other Republicans or Democrats to support the Reagan-era principle of “peace through strength.” And there is broad support among Tea Party Republicans, as well as non-Tea Party Republicans, for maintaining defense spending at current levels. By contrast, far more Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents want to cut back defense spending.
Read the full analysis, Strong on Defense and Israel, Tough on China, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.