CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Political Opportunity and the TEA Party – Why and Where TEA Party Protests Occurred

Daniel Rudofsky, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Social Sciences

Dept/Program: Political Science

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Neil Malhotra

Date of this Version: 09 April 2011



The TEA Party initially formed in 2009 to protest excessive government spending and skyrocketing debt. Very quickly their message caught on with many Americans across the country. Local groups sprouted up across America without any hierarchical organization directing their efforts. While some national TEA Party groups provide training and funding to certain local organizations, many of these local groups remain fiercely independent of any national affiliation. By examining their most basic political tool, the protest, this paper explains why the TEA Party movement chose certain congressional districts to hold its protests. It discovers that the TEA Party rationally chose certain moderate to conservative districts in which to hold protests. They represented the greatest opportunity for the TEA Party to successfully accomplish its goals.


American Politics

Suggested Citation

Rudofsky, Daniel, "Political Opportunity and the TEA Party – Why and Where TEA Party Protests Occurred" 09 April 2011. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania,

Date Posted: 11 May 2011




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