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Boston's other Tea Party

Posted by Rob Anderson  October 6, 2010 12:47 PM

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PX00130_9.JPGIf you hear "Boston" and "Tea Party" in the same sentence, you're probably more likely to think about a rowdy mob of colonists in 1773 than an angry group of protesters today. While Scott Brown-style moderation may be all the rage in Massachusetts, the Bay State isn't exactly seen as the birthplace of anti-Democratic protest. But a poll published last week by MassINC Polling Group suggests that the contemporary Tea Party may have a stronger footing in the Bay State than conventional wisdom suggests.

According to that survey, 40 percent of likely voters in Massachusetts hold a favorable view of the Tea Party. Additionally, 25 percent of likely Massachusetts voters say they support the Tea Party movement, according to a Boston Globe poll published last month. And 39 percent of likely voters in Massachusetts think the Tea Party movement is good for the country, according to a Rasmussen poll released last week. That same survey reported that 13 percent of Massachusetts residents consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement, which is on par with the national level.

Compiling and analyzing these statistics in CommonWealth magazine, Steven Koczela argues that the Tea Party is a veritable political movement in Massachusetts, and that its supporters shouldn't be labeled as part of the state's political fringe. "The 40 percent who are favorable toward the Tea Party," he points out, "is in the same ballpark as those who are favorable toward the gubernatorial candidates Charlie Baker (37 percent), Tim Cahill (29 percent), and Deval Patrick (44 percent)."

We'll be able to get a better sense of the Tea Party's actual political power come November, but, in the meantime, it would be wrong to think of the movement as an insignificant part of the Commonwealth's political makeup.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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