ABC shows recognition of the power of the people in their report that the Tea Party movement is challenging "moderate Republicans," but there are reports of these ad hoc American grassroot gatherings targeting politicians of all stripes.
-- From "Tea Party Activists Gaining Steam Across the Country" by Kate Snow And Kristina Wong, ABC News 1/7/10
A political movement is sweeping the country, and taking politicians down.
The most recent victim of "tea party" activists was Florida Republican Jim Greer, who resigned from as state party chairman this week, in part because of the activists' objections to his alliance with Florida's Republican governor, Charlie Crist, who is running for the U.S. Senate. The activists are vocally supporting Crist's opponent -- a young, outspoken conservative, Marco Rubio -- and some believe the tea party group may bring down Crist, too.
Tea party activists in California may cause the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company to lose her bid for the U.S. Senate because she's not conservative enough.
And in Kentucky, Rand Paul, the son of a former presidential candidate Ron Paul, is riding the tea party wave.
Next week, Eric Odom, the man most often regarded as the founder of the tea party movement, is taking a crew of tea party followers to Massachusetts, sensing the Democrat running for Ted Kennedy's old seat, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, might be vulnerable.
So-called "tea party patriots" are members of a political movement sweeping America whose core beliefs center around fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets.
The majority of supporters are Republicans. But as the number of self-identified Republicans continues to drop, the tea party moniker is also drawing independents.
And there are Democratic converts in the tea party ranks now, too.
"A year ago, the Obama supporters were the passionate ones," New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote this week. "Now the tea party brigades have all the intensity."
By one count, there are at least 3,000 tea party organizations all over the country.
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