The IRS decision to extend this year's deadline to April 18 is proving a boon for the Tea Party, who now has a long weekend to protest Tax Day.
And despite the Tea Party's lagging public support — the most recent NBC/WSJ poll found 30 percent had a "very negative" view — 2012 GOP contenders are joining their weekend parties.
Donald Trump, who led among Tea Party supporters in that same NBC/WSJ poll (but note that +/- 8.5 percent caveat), and he's heading to Boca Raton, Florida, to bask in the admiration. He's primed the pump in a radio interview on Thursday, calling himself "a big fan of the Tea Party" and declaring himself a Tea Partier himself, with a tacit "I think so" when asked.
Mitt Romney wanted to be there, at least that's what an event organizer told Politico. (The Romney campaign denied it.) Romney is scheduled to be in Florida today, to meet with donors and hold a public event in Orlando.
While Trump is the state trying to wrestle the first-in-the-nation mantle from New Hampshire, four possible contenders are betting that the Tea Party activists will gathering in the Granite State will still hold considerable sway. Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, and Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain will are all speaking to a rally today in Concord. (Ron Paul will be at a separate Tea Party gathering in Manchester.)
The New Hampshire Tea Party Coalition is also holding a straw poll of 14 candidates, including Trump, who event organizer Jane Aitken said she "reluctantly put there."
"I don’t know if you could call him a Tea Party candidate," Aitken said, who pointed to his previous contributions to Democrats, including the support of Democrats. including pointing out his contributions to Democrats, including the Democratic Senatorial Committee. She also noted that her group does not endorse.
The Concord event starts a Tea Party rally doubleheader for Pawlenty and Cain, who head to Des Moines for another Tea Party rally on Saturday.
Southerners Newt Gingrich and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour are spending the weekend near home, going all base. Gingrich is headlining a local GOP convention in Cumming, Georgia, and after checking out a New Hampshire gun shop on Thursday, Barbour will make three stops at local Republican conventions in South Carolina this weekend.
Despite the appearances of announced exploring candidates, they may be outshined by the most famous non-candidate of all. Sarah Palin will be speaking at a Tea Party rally on Saturday, on the steps of the much-protested capitol in Madison.