The folks over at Patchwork Nation have tried to identify the types of communities where tea partiers tend to cluster. Dante Chinni and Jim Gimple have collected online directories of tea party members — 67,000 people — and found the counties where they live.
So, what kind of counties are thick with tea party members? Chinni writes that his “Boom Town” counties have the highest rate of tea party affiliation. (Map above.) These are fast growing counties, many exurban, and home to relatively affluent residents. There are also larger than average numbers of tea party activists in “Tractor Country,” ag counties, and in counties with military bases. Oh, and rich suburbs were above average, as were counties with lots of Mormons.
How about places that had fewer than average tea partiers? Interestingly, evangelical centers were low on tea partiers. So were places with aging populations and small towns with lots of service workers. These are places with more traditional kinds of politics — conservative, but less activist. The counties that score lowest on this ranking of tea party geography were those counties with the highest percentage of African-American residents. See the story for lots of good maps.