“Congress will be back in session after its August recess, talking about budgets. We’ve got 3,000 people signed up so far on our Web site, but it’s early and the energy level is high,” Mr. Steinhauser said.
The April 15 tea parties have already had an influence on Washington officials. Just days after the rallies, President Obama asked his Cabinet to find $100 million in spending cuts in their department budgets - a hastily-crafted initiative that Republicans ridiculed as a minuscule fraction of his $3.5 trillion budget.
Republicans, however, have been just as unsuccessful in tapping into this group of voters Mr. Steinhauser describes as “sort of a mixture of libertarians, independent-minded people who lean conservative and even Democrats who are leery of all this spending in Congress.”
“I’m not sure Republicans have learned how to tap into this group yet,” said James Sibold, the former DeKalb County Republican chairman in Georgia.