Yes, There Are Tea Party Democrats

Not many of them, but they do exist
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2011 10:17 AM CDT
In this file photo taken April 15, 2011, in Las Vegas, Diana Orrock of Las Vegas listens to speakers during a tea party rally to support Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval's promise not to raise taxes.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

(Newser) – Think "Tea Party" and you'll probably think "Republican"—but it turns out Tea Party Democrats do, in fact, exist. But it's hard to say just how many, and harder still to gauge how much of an impact they have on elections, the Washington Post reports. Polls have put the percentage of Democrats in the Tea Party movement at anywhere from 4% (CNN) to 15% (Gallup); for her part, Michele Bachmann believes it's actually 20%.

And who are they? Bachmann describes Tea Party Democrats as "disaffected," and a Republican pollster explains that some Democrats are shifting to the Tea Party because they are "anti-spending and for budget austerity." Even so, no Democrat has yet emerged as a significant Tea Party candidate, and Democrats didn't cross over to vote Republican in numbers any higher than normal during the 2010 elections.

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