More recently, a poll for Resurgent Republic, a Republican-aligned conglomerate of pollsters and consultants, showed that 11 percent of those who viewed the tea party favorably were Democrats. (That’s not an ideal measure, of course, since one need not be a tea party member to view it favorably.)

Who are these tea party Democrats?

Republican pollster Dan Hazelwood said that just as some Democrats moved to the GOP because of social issues in recent decades, some are now moving to the tea party because of fiscal issues.

“They have the same populist point of view of the rest of the tea party movement,” Hazelwood said. “Their ideal would be a Dennis Kucinich type who was anti-spending and for budget austerity. So they are people who are adrift on the left because of spending and on the right because of social issues.”