The Tea Party movement remains a powerful force in American politics, although numerous recent studies have shown that its membership’s affiliation defies traditional party identification.
It may have started out as a right-wing movement responding to the needs of fiscally conservative Republicans, but a new report from Sam Adams Alliance—a nonprofit organization that promotes citizen activism and responsible government—has shown that in the last few months the involvement and enthusiasm of the movement’s activists has grown and expanded. In particular, a smaller number now self-identify as Republicans, and some 50 percent declare a different political affiliation.
The study, entitled The Next Wave: A Surf Report, found that 47 percent of polled activists consider themselves independent or unaffiliated, 20 percent identify with Tea Party or “other groups” and 13 percent are Libertarian.
The report also revealed that among Tea Party activists Sarah Palin was the number one choice for president in 2012, with 23 percent of support.
As if echoing these sentiments, Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, commented on the Republican primaries in Colorado and Connecticut, where Tea Party candidates trumped establishment Republicans.
"Republican primary voters are continuing to move the Republican Party significantly to the right,” he stated, adding that “the 2011-12 Congress is likely to be the most conservative ever.”