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A Tale of Two Tea Parties

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Immigration was on tap as controversial Iowa congressman Steve King, a Republican, spoke to area Tea Party activists in Loveland on Saturday. It wasn’t quite the message members of the Northern Colorado Tea Party wanted to push, so two separate Tea Party groups ended up rallying in the Front Range town, reports the Reporter-Herald.

The non-affiliated activists have protested many policies and politicians in the short 15 months since jumping into politics. Despite Republican interests in their votes and their interests in Republican politics, the Tea Party hasn’t brought more voters to the GOP. Rather, the best-case scenario for Republicans, writes The Denver Post, is an increase in November turnout and more volunteers.

On the other hand, Tea Party activists may pose a challenge if they help candidates with less mainstream appeal succeed in Republican primaries, as they have in other states.

A Post analysis of voter registration records between February 2009 and May 2010 finds that Republicans lost nearly 15,000 active voters, or 1.7 percent, of their total. Democrats, however, lost 39,000, or 4.6 percent, in the same period, and the number of unaffiliated voters rose by 20,500, or 2.8 percent.

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