Is The Tea Party Dead?

Do you remember when the pundits were talking about how the Tea Party movement was going to transform American politics?  Do you remember when establishment Republicans in Congress were scared to death of having Tea Party challengers come after their seats?  Well, those days are over.  In primary after primary in 2014, it has become abundantly clear that the establishment is in full control of the Republican Party once again.  And recent polling data also supports the theory that the Tea Party movement is losing steam.  Back in 2010,31 percent of all Americans supported the Tea Party.  Today, an all-time low15 percent of all Americans do.  So is the Tea Party dead?  Perhaps not yet, but without a doubt it is on the ropes.

Ever since the last election, Tea Party activists have been pointing toward 2014 as the year when top establishment Republicans would finally be held accountable for acting like liberal Democrats.  But instead, establishment Republicans have been crushing their Tea Party opponents in contest after contest.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell destroyed his Tea Party challenger in Kentucky by 25 percentage points.  During the campaign, McConnell was not afraid to verbally attack the Tea Party movement, but that did not seem to energize the voters on the other side much at all.  Back in March, McConnell predicted that establishment Republicans like him would “crush” the Tea Party all over the nation, and it now looks like his prediction is going to be quite accurate…

This election season, Republicans led by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are taking a much harder line as they sense the majority within reach. Top congressional Republicans and their allies are challenging the advocacy groups head on in an aggressive effort to undermine their credibility. The goal is to deny them any Senate primary victories, cut into their fund-raising and diminish them as a future force in Republican politics. “I think we are going to crush them everywhere,” Mr. McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, said in an interview, referring to the network of activist organizations working against him and two Republican incumbents in Kansas and Mississippi while engaging in a handful of other contests. “I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.

In the May 20th primaries, it wasn’t just in Kentucky that Tea Party candidates got hammered.  According to Politico, not a single Republican incumbent lost on Tuesday…

After a year of threats from conservative outside groups, no GOP incumbents lost Tuesday. Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson beat back a tea partier supported by groups such as Club for Growth, with help from the business lobby and Mitt Romney. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden, targeted in Oregon by a national campaign called Primary My Congressman, received triple the support of his opponent with more than half the votes in. And House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster prevailed over his challenger in Pennsylvania by 18 points.

And in Georgia, not a single Tea Party candidate even made the July runofffor the Republican Senate primary.

So why can’t Tea Party candidates even win in some of the most conservative states in the entire country?

What has gone wrong?

For a while there, it seemed like there may be hope that the Tea Party could break the stranglehold that the establishment has on the two party system in the United States.

But now things look very different.

And the future does not appear to be very bright for the Tea Party either, because the U.S. is becoming more liberal with each passing day.  Younger Americans tend to be much more liberal than older Americans, and older Americans are steadily dying off.  Unless something changes, the country is going to continue to drift to the left in the years ahead.  It is just a matter of demographics.

According to a survey recently conducted by the Pew Research Center, Americans from age 18 to age 33 are “significantly more liberal” and are “far more likely to vote Democratic” than older Americans are…

Members of the huge millennial generation are less religious, less likely to call themselves “patriotic” and significantly more‎ liberal than older generations, new research shows.

Although adults aged 18-33 are much more likely to call themselves political independents than their elders are, they are also far more likely to vote Democratic. Their views favoring activist government, as well as their stands on social issues such as gay rights, reinforce that voting behavior, an extensive study by the Pew Research Center shows.

This trend toward liberalism is especially pronounced when it comes to social issues.

For example, a recent Gallup poll found that national support for gay marriage is up to a brand new record high of 55 percent.  Leading the way, of course, is younger Americans.  According to a different survey, an astounding 70 percentof Millennials now support gay marriage.  Unless something dramatic happens, support for gay marriage in the U.S. is going to become absolutely overwhelming as older Americans slowly die off.

And is America ready to accept a gay president?  According to a recent Pew Research survey, 66 percent of Americans think that “it wouldn’t matter if a presidential candidate is gay or lesbian”.

Obviously, these are not values that most Tea Party voters would identify with.

Another place where we can see the huge philosophical divide between old and young voters is in the 2012 presidential election voting results.

In 2012, 44 percent of American voters age 65 or older voted for Barack Obama.

If they had determined the election, Obama would have lost.

Fortunately for Obama, 60 percent of American voters age 18 to age 29 voted for Obama.

Unless a miracle happens, it seems clear that the establishment is going to remain fully in control of the two party system here in the United States and that the country is going to continue to drift to the left.

So if you are hoping for a political solution to the problems that this nation is facing, you can quit waiting.

It simply is not going to happen any time soon.

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7 Comments

  1. Good Golly Miss Miley The Soros/Media Is Trying Very Hard To Tell The “Biggest Lie” Polls Are For Fools % Of Colored Folks Questioned 50% Balance Hispanic, Whites & Chinese!!! Yikeess This Smells Like Chi-Town Polls With Honest George Soros & Son Barry At Work?? God Bless America And The Tea Party Patriots Voters 2014/2016.

  2. Thank god (no pun intended). The last thing this country needs is old time conservative rhetoric….I applaud the demise of the tea party!

  3. That dynamic does happen but I am afraid that the left has hijacked education to the point that all our kids get fed a bunch of nonsense. Justice Day-O’Connor said it well recently in a speech in Idaho. She is afraid that the necessary minimum level of knowledge and understanding of the foundational principles underlying our Republic has fallen below a critical threshold. I agree with her. Education has gone downhill. The number of people who have any concept of basic things is smaller and smaller. And the Founders made some basic mistakes like making sure positions in government did not become lifetime sinecures as they have largely become.

  4. Libertarians will emerge like a phoenix from the tea party.
    Let the individual rule his or her life per their own moral compass!

  5. On the money except for the stupidity quotient! The movement lost credibility when far right social conservatives and ideologues took most of the press. Individual and fiscal responsibility as embodied by the Tea Party has strong roots. This administration, its fiscal policies and total lack of leadership isn’t lost on our youth. As job creation builds and more of them realize the cost of socialism they will become more conservative. That is how I became a fiscal conservative from a Young Democrat for Kennedy!

  6. In a lot of cases the “Tea Party” has come under the influence of the Religious Right. Social Issues are no part of the Tea Party. Probably not one in ten people who now identify with the :Tea Party” even know how it started. It started as a rant by Rick Santelli on CNBC having to do with moral hazard. The Tea Party is about individual responsibility and liberty FROM government intrusion, including in social issues which should NOT be legislated. The Tea Party has lost influenc because it came to be dominated by idiots, like everything else in our increasingly stupid country.

  7. Dead? Hardly. Under pressure? Definitely.

    Consider for a moment that the Tea Party movement has no distinct organization, no specified leader, and no financial organization; it is a “movement” of like-minded citizens who are fed up with the take-no-prisoners attitude of national politics. That it struggles with its message is a given, that both political parties fear its potential influence on their “meal ticket” is evident by how hard both establishment Republicans and Progressive Democrats vilify the “extremists”, the “domestic terrorists”, and the “troublemakers” that these Tea Party groups represent.

    The Tea Party movement has been subjected to both internal pressures from the establishment Republicans who, like their Democrat counterparts, don’t want to give up the lifestyle they’ve become too accustomed to in DC, and externally, by Liberal activists within the federal bureaucracy who will do whatever is necessary to protect their president even if it does mean using their agencies as a political weapon, and to Progressive / Liberal Democrats in the House and Senate who are determined to vilify anyone who has the temerity to challenge their self-perceived “authority.”

    Yet despite all the vilification, harassment, intimidation, and accusation, the Tea Party movement has, and is, having an impact on the Republican party. If nothing else, the Tea Party movement is forcing the establishment Republicans to become a bit more Conservative with each election cycle, to recognize that being Democrat-lite doesn’t cut it with middle America, and that “fly-over” country has a voice that demands being heard. Nothing happens overnight, and the Tea Party movement is only five years old; it’s growing, it’s learning, and it wants to be heard.

    Liberal activists and bloggers will continue to write the obituary for the Tea Party movement in the run up to all of the coming elections, and their constant meme will remain “the Tea Party is no more.” I would only ask those on the Left insisting the Tea Party is dead, just how long did it take radical Liberalism to become the dominant ideology of the Democrat party?

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