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How Many Tea Party Members Drink Tea?
And does the group receive disproportionate media coverage?
Orlando Dozier (SimplyTrue)     Print Article 
Published 2010-05-01 17:48 (KST)   
This article was only lightly edited.  <Editor's Note>
According to Wikipedia: "In 1907, American tea merchant Thomas Sullivan began distributing samples of his tea in small bags of Chinese silk with a drawstring. Consumers noticed that they could simply leave the tea in the bag and re-use it with fresh tea. However, the potential of this distribution/packaging method would not be fully realized until later on. During World War II, tea was rationed. In 1953 (after rationing in the UK ended), Tetley launched the tea bag to the UK and it was an immediate success."

So how many tea party members actually drink tea?

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Well, there was only one way to answer this question in that was to put it to the Internet Oracle, Google. When I searched for the phrase "what percentage of tea party members actually drink tea?" I got nothing.

I was able to find a study that was done in 2005, which asked the question to 1,008 Americans via telephone, "do you drink tea?". The response was 80% of Americans consider themselves tea drinkers.

Using these numbers to do some quick math I came to the following conclusions;
US population 310,000,000
Republican Party 21%
Republicans 65,100,000
Republicans Tea Party support 18%
Tea Party supporters 11,718,000
Estimated Tea Party supporter members 60%
Estimated tea party members 7,030,800
Percentage of Americans that drink tea 8%
Tea Party member tea drinkers 562,464
Tea Party member teabag users 80%
True Tea Party tea drinkers 449,971

Please keep in mind that my analysis is based on Wikipedia data, along with some pure speculation.

Given these numbers (really, the total number of Tea Party members, not those who drink tea) it is amazing how much mainstream media is coverage they receive. The Tea Party movement represents less than 1% of the total population, according to my estimates. You would think the mainstream media would spend their resources on more pressing matters that impact the rest of us.

As a side note, if you want to do some more digging into real numbers that represent the tea party movement and the current state of the Republican Party, I would refer you to reading an excellent article written at the Washington Post, The Republican Shrinkage Problem.
©2010 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Orlando Dozier

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