More time and discussion has been devoted to the Tea Party during this election than perhaps any other issue. The fierce anti-tax movement has ignited the ire of Democrats and Republicans alike, but also inspired millions of Americans eager for an alternative to big government. But what does it mean to be a Tea Party candidate? By combining funding data from the FEC and a (subjective) list of Tea Party candidates from rebuildtheparty.com, we made this list which shows how campaign finance differs for the Tea Party.
The lesson here: the Tea Party truly is a grass roots movement, funded and powered by individual citizens. Tea Party candidates receive over 83% of their total funding from individuals, compared to 51% for all other candidates (D/R/I all included). PAC's need not apply, either. However, if you mouse over you will notice that the Tea Party has only a minuscule portion of the total funding in this years election (with far fewer candidates as well). This tells us that the movement will not likely result in a true split of the Republican party, but rather a change in the ideology of the main party. Discuss at will!
Editors note: this post is not intended to make any endorsement of any candidate, Democrat, Republican or Republican/Tea Party. We simply wish to incite discussion about the differences between the candidates.