"...But a new Washington Post canvass of hundreds of local tea party groups reveals a different sort of organization, one that is not so much a movement as a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings that do surprisingly little to engage in the political process.

The results come from a months-long effort by The Post to contact every tea party group in the nation, an unprecedented attempt to understand the network of individuals and organizations at the heart of the nascent movement.

Seventy percent of the grass-roots groups said they have not participated in any political campaigning this year. As a whole, they have no official candidate slates, have not rallied behind any particular national leader, have little money on hand, and remain ambivalent about their goals and the political process in general. ...

The most common responses were concerns about spending and limiting the size of government, but together those were named by less than half the groups. Social issues, such as same-sex marriage and abortion rights, did not register as concerns. ..."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/23/AR2010102304000.html?hpid=topnews