Despite sharing the common bonds of being opposed to deficits, disdainful of Congress and anti-establishment, tea party groups and the Ross Perot movement from the 1990s are not directly related, says one prominent observer.
Writing in Sunday's Washington Post, political reporter Dan Balz says there are similarities between the anti-tax groups and the supporters of the Texas billionaire who ran for president. But the differences are much more telling.
"The Perot voters were a disparate group, ideologically diverse, with generally secular views," says Balz/ "The tea party movement is far more cohesive. If anything, it is simply an adjunct of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, even if many of its supporters say they hold no particular allegiance for the GOP and are critical of party leadership. ...
"The biggest and most important difference, however, is the ideological makeup of the two groups. Despite the same strong anti-government sentiment and focus on the federal budget deficit as the tea party activists of today, the Perot voters were far less conservative."
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