Jason Meade of New Franklin, Ohio, is among hundreds of political hopefuls looking to ride the “tea party” wave to Washington this year. Like most, he’s finding it a tough go.
Mr. Meade is running in the Republican primary in Ohio’s 13th Congressional District against five candidates while juggling a 50-hour workweek at a plastics plant. His headquarters “is in the second-floor living room in the corner where the computer is,” he says. His campaign has $3,000 to its name.
Mr. Meade’s experience goes to the heart of a debate roiling the nascent movement: Should it back fervent long shots who hew to its antigovernment views, or should it rally around more traditional candidates, even if they don’t perfectly reflect the movement’s distaste for incumbents, taxes and spending?