Tea Bags (Source 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."
WTF? Is Wikipedia telling us that the Tea party movements origins originated in communist China? Oh, but that's a whole another question to be asked and answered another time. Now getting back to my original question that is "how many tea party members actually drink tea?".
The other night while I was pondering the origins of the universe, the question which popped into my head was "how many tea party members actually drink tea?". Well, there was only one way to answer this question in that was to put it to the Internet Oracle, Google. When I googled the phrase "what percentage of tea party members actually drink tea?, I got nothing.
Well, it's not really true to say that I received zero results. I did receive an abundance of material explaining the various techniques of teabagging, but that's a whole another subject completely. Getting back on topic, 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 8% 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 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 Teabaggers 449,971
W00T!, that was a lot of number crunching. Please keep in mind that my analysis is based on Wikipedia data, pure speculation, and numbers being pulled out of my butt. In other words, don’t take these numbers as the Bible and hold me to them.
Although I must say, it is amazing how much mainstream media is covering the tea party movement when it only represents less than 1% of the total population. You would think that they would spend their resources on more pressing matters that impact the other 99.9% 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 titled “the Republican shrinkage problem”. See link below for details.