Grand Junction, Colorado (CNN) -- They are not typical Tea Party activists: A woman who voted for President Obama and believes he's a "phenomenal speaker." Another who said she was a "knee-jerk, bleeding heart liberal."
These two women are not alone.
Some Americans who say they have been sympathetic to Democratic causes in the past -- some even voted for Democratic candidates -- are angry with President Obama and his party. They say they are now supporting the Tea Party -- a movement that champions less government, lower taxes and the defeat of Democrats even though it's not formally aligned with the Republican Party.
To be sure, the number of Democrats in the Tea Party movement is small. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows that while 96 percent of Tea Party activists identify themselves as either Republican or Independent, only 4 percent say they are Democrats. [...]
Yes, but how many the "Independents" are really Democrats who left their party?
[...] "We hear from folks, probably at every rally, who say, 'I was a Democrat,' " Levi Russell, communications director for the Tea Party express tour, said.
"Having more Democrats join the movement shows that it is more representative of the American people than the antics of the Obama, [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, Reid leadership," Russell said.
The Democratic National Committee declined to comment. [...]
Many "independents" are former Democrats or Republicans. How many were which one is hard to say, but independents often swing elections nowadays.