The geographic snapshot: According to tea party member databases, there are roughly 67,000 members in counties across America, but the biggest producers of tea-party members in Patchwork Nation, per capita, are the "Boom Town" counties. These places experienced rapid growth around 2000 - and the worst part of the housing crash that followed.Much more discussion and analysis at PBS.
That list of members does not include people who say they sympathize with the tea parties or their goals. Adding in those people would swell the group's ranks and possibly change its geographic distribution.
But the numbers suggest a few things. First, the tea party movement, despite the large amount of coverage it has received, is probably not the force that media outlets have portrayed it as - at least not yet. Second, the places it is most strongly tied to tend to lean Republican and have been hit hard economically in recent years.
25 April 2010
Mapping support for the Tea Party