The Economist's Élysée blog asks and answers the question of whether 18% of the French are racist because they voted for the extremist right candidate Marine Le Pen for president:
All this to say that it is too simplistic to see Ms Le Pen’s score as a mere manifestation of French racism. Nor is it simply a protest against the system. People like her, and are not afraid to say so, in a way that few were about her father. Her electoral success reflects, rather, a mix of disappointment with Mr Sarkozy, despair at the level of joblessness, bewilderment in the face of globalisation, frustration at the impotence of Europe, and disillusion with the political class.
I concur, but I wonder if the same point could be easily made about American Tea Partiers. Somehow I doubt it, which is sad because asserting that people are racist solely because of their politics pollutes all conversation and of course infects the political debate.
That said, ignorance isn't a political opinion.