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Disgruntled Democrats join the Tea Party

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.

Some of these disgruntled voters are taking part in the current Tea Party Express tour. The tour began in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s hometown of Searchlight, Nevada, on March 28 and is making 44 stops across the nation. It ends in Washington on tax day — April 15.

Ann Ducket attended the Tea Party rally in Grand Junction, Colorado, on Wednesday.

A lawyer and lifelong Democrat, Ducket made her political leanings clear: She said she was a campus community organizer for Democratic Sen. George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign, voted for Jimmy Carter and Al Gore, and previously ran for elective office in Colorado as a Democrat.

“I was a card-carrying member of the ACLU, and I probably did inhale in college,” Ducket said.

Ducket, who is now an independent and did not vote for Obama, said the president has “carried things to an extreme.”

“I think we’ve gone too far on the side of government doing too much,” Ducket said. “The Democratic Party is wanting to take care of everyone, instead of helping everybody stand on their own two feet.”

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