Carver County has more registered tea party members compared to any other county in the state according to research done by the Christian Science Monitor and PBS Newshour: Approximately 10 per 10,000 residents. Sound like a lot? Carver County has 90,043 residents, according to the latest figures. You do the math.
To get an understanding of how big the loosely affiliated movement is and where it's based, Patchwork Nation has combed through online directories to find people who have registered with tea party organizations -- not a perfect system but one that captures the overwhelming majority of registered members.
Interestingly, Carver is like other counties with the highest percentages of tea party members around the country: "Fast-growing, changing and diversifying; once-thriving economies that are now falling on hard times; home to relatively affluent communities experiencing growth of minority populations."
The research does not include people who simply say they sympathize with tea party goals. That's a harder number to quantify, but The New York Times published a poll last week that attempted to get at an answer:
The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.
(Hat tip: MinnIndy.)