[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/27/art.specter0827.gi.jpg caption="Topping the group's target list in the Senate is current Democrat, and former moderate Republican, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania."]Joliet, Illinois (CNN) - Organizers of the Tea Party Express bus tour arriving in Washington later this week planned their route to go though Democratic congressional districts they consider vulnerable.
"What we did was take a map of the United States and then we went head and pin pointed the members of congress that merited our attention and then we looked at those that might be politically vulnerable," said Joe Wierzbicki, a strategist with the conservative PAC Our Country Deserves Better, who are organizing the cross country Tea Party Express tour.
Topping the group's target list in the Senate is current Democrat, and former moderate Republican, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. The Tea Party Express makes four stops in Pennsylvania later this week.
"Arlen Specter has always been a top priority for us, because as long as you had a prominent Republican who was providing the Democrats the means to push through this massive expansion of government, that certainly made him a top priority," says Wierzbicki.
Other Democratic senators on the groups list include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Connecticut's Chris Dodd. The tour made five stops in Nevada, and plans three stops in Connecticut.
On the House side, first-term Michigan Democrats Mark Schauer and Gary Peters are on the group's target list. The tour plans four Michigan stops.
"We decided to do this tour across the country, mobilize the people in these communities, so that subsequent to this tour we can then go back and start prioritizing these targets for the express purpose of running ads and grassroots campaigns to defeat these members of Congress," said Wierzbicki.
The Our Country Deserves Better PAC says the Tea Party Express is not a partisan group.
"We are a non-partisan organization, we are an ideological organization," says Wierzbicki. "It's hard when you are a conservative organization not to fall into the GOP camp."
Wierzbicki points to Rep. Walt Minnick, a conservative Democrat from Idaho, as a candidate the group would consider backing. The Tea Party Express tour did not travel through Idaho.
"It's hard to imagine us supporting too many Democrats. It would be an isolated incident," Wierzbicki says. "We are more likely to find a bad Republican and try to replace him with a more conservative one."
To do that, Wierzbicki says they will be pressuring the GOP to find and promote conservative candidates.
The group plans on opposing moderate Republican Mark Kirk, the congressman from Illinois who is running for the Senate seat held by Democrat Roland Burris. They will also oppose Rep. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican. Wierzbicki says both congressmen are too liberal.
"One of our goals is to fight that war in the Republican Party," says Wierzbicki. "To teach these people a lesson and send them a message."