Ballotpedia:Tea Parties and State Legislatures

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Tea Parties and State Legislatures is a research project facilitated by Ballotpedia's staff to investigate the extent to which political engagement in 2010 that can generally be defined as part of the "Tea Party" movement is making itself felt at the level of state legislative elections in 2010.

Nationally, the media has a keen interest in identifying and analyzing the extent to which the Tea Party movement might be a factor in November's elections for U.S. Congress.

At Ballotpedia, we'll be collecting some statistics and information to assess whether and where Tea Party activists are getting involved electorally at the more local level of state legislative elections. Over 6,100 state senate and state house seats are up for grabs on November 2 in 46 states.

Partisan composition

The Tea Party movement is for the most part officially non-partisan. That said, when it comes to electoral politics, those engaged in the Tea Party movement tend to favor Republicans over Democrats.

Heading into the November 2 elections, the Democratic Party holds a commanding lead in state houses in the 88 legislative chambers that hold elections in 2010. 52 of the 88 chambers, or nearly 60% of them, currently have a Democratic majority, while 33 of them have a Republican majority. (Two chambers have an exactly equal number of Democrats and Republicans and one is officially non-partisan.)

Democratic Party = Democratic Party holds majority position • Republican Party = Republican Party holds majority position
Constitution_Party#Independent_American_Party_of_Nevada = Political parties tied for partisan control • Independent = Officially non-partisan chamber

Legislative chamber Democratic Party Republican Party Constitution_Party#Independent_American_Party_of_Nevada Independent
State senates 23 18 1 1
State houses 29 15 1 -
Totals: 52 33 2 1

How to participate

" presents a wealth of factual information from a non-partisan standpoint.
I would strongly recommend that all tea party and 9/12 activists participate in their
Tea Party and State Legislatures analysis because what takes place at the state and
local levels cannot, and should not, be ignored in 2010."--Ned Ryun of American Majority

If you are affiliated with a local or state tea party organization, please take a minute to fill out this short survey:

If you have questions about participating in the survey, or if you have additional information to share that does not fit within the survey format, we'd love to hear from you. Please send our research team, headed up by Jackie Larkin, an email.

You can sign up here to receive updates about survey results:

Newsletter Signup

Example of a scorecard

An example of a state-based Tea Party organization publishing a legislative scorecard is Make Lansing Listen, a scorecard compiled by Common Sense in Government, an organization led by Wendy Day.

If you are associated with a local or state tea party organization that has or plans to produce a legislative scorecard about your state's legislative incumbents, candidates or both, please let us know by taking this survey or e-mailing us. If you could provide a link to a website that publishes your legislative scorecard, that would be very helpful.