Study: Tea Partiers, Unions Share Common Core Values

Mar 09, 2011, 09:30 ET from Sam Adams Alliance

insightsLab Reports from Protest in Madison

CHICAGO, March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, insightsLab, the research arm of Sam Adams Alliance (SAM) released a new study showing that both Tea Partiers and a segment of Madison, WI, union protestors share similar core values. The study, which is the first of its kind, was conducted during the height of the Wisconsin budget battle and delved into the values and motivations of union protestors. The research determined two core segments of people among the Madison protestors, "Operatives" and "Idealists," based on qualitative in-depth market research interviews conducted with "brand champion" protestors.

"This study is significant because it shows where the Tea Partiers and unions can meet in the middle and find common ground," said Yvonne Ralsky, executive director of SAM. "The research team at insightsLab didn't expect to discover that the passions of the Tea Partiers and Unions transcend policy positions or politics, and motivate people to activism."

"Madison Unwrapped" is the first activist insights report of 2011. Along the lines of last year's Tea Party "Early Adopters" report, "Madison Unwrapped: Reading the Union Label" provides insight into the segments found within the union protestors in Madison. More importantly, it demonstrates where collaboration and understanding will fulfill the "deep values" of both sides.

Researchers from the insightsLab interviewed 10 subjects on-site at the Madison, WI, protests, for between forty-five and sixty minutes per interviewee. insightsLab found two segments among the union activist population. The first segment, "Operatives," value security, accomplishment, and self-esteem. "Idealists," by contrast, value belonging, family, and self-fulfillment. The latter group's values closely resembled those of Tea Party "brand champions," as revealed in the Early Adopters last year.

"The findings were surprising to us, at first," said Anne Sorock, director of the insightsLab. "We rejected our hypothesis that all union protestors' values would be starkly different from the Tea Partiers. Instead, we found that there are values common to segments within each group—a remarkable shift in thinking and a promising advance for understanding the modern American political landscape."

About insightsLab

insightsLab, the research arm of the Sam Adams Alliance, is a first-mover in applying traditionally private-sector market-research techniques to the political and cultural space. Launched in 2010, the insightsLab focuses on providing better understanding of this dynamic and largely unexplored market, from the people who make it up to the institutions and individuals to whom they relate.

About the Sam Adams Alliance

Founded in 2006, the Sam Adams Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan organization helping Americans preserve democracy, freedom, and the America the Founders envisioned. For more information, visit  


SOURCE Sam Adams Alliance