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The Washington Post said it spent months trying to get a better understanding of the tea party movement, which has galvanized a large vocal segment of the electorate angry with Washington and what the say is the country’s downward spiral, and The Post has come to this conclusion:
[That the tea party is] “not so much a movement as a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings that do surprisingly little to engage in the political process. …
Seventy percent of the grass-roots groups said they have not participated in any political campaigning this year. As a whole, they have no official candidate slates, have not rallied behind any particular national leader, have little money on hand, and remain ambivalent about their goals and the political process in general….
The findings suggest that the breadth of the tea party may be inflated. The Atlanta-based Tea Party Patriots, for example, says it has a listing of more than 2,300 local groups, but The Post was unable to identify anywhere near that many, despite help from the organization and independent research.