Monday, March 8, 2010

Tea Party Candidates Fail At Ballot Box


According to Politico, tea party candidates are failing to connect with voters and are failing across the country to gain much more than passing support.

From Politico writer Alex Isenstadt:

From its loud and highly visible protests at summer congressional town hall meetings to its September march on the streets of Washington, the tea party movement has left a profound mark on the American political landscape since it burst onto the scene a year ago.

But as spirited political movements have shown in the past, translating passion and activist fury into votes can be difficult. And so far, success at the ballot box has been elusive for these grass-roots conservative activists — if not entirely nonexistent.

From Texas to Illinois to upstate New York, a string of lackluster showings for tea party-linked candidates have highlighted a central question about the group’s future: Can an organic and fledgling movement that lacks the institutional grounding and top-down organizational strength of either major political party transfer protest-oriented grass-roots energy into tangible success at the polls?


Of course, here in Indiana, there is a key tea partier in the race for Indiana Senate. Richard Behney of Fishers is one of the key people in the movement. So far, his candidacy has been overshadowed by the candidacies of mainstreamers like Dan Coats, Marlin Stutzman, and John Hostettler.

WAIT, did I just put mainstream and John Hostettler in the same sentence? A momentary lapse...my apologies.

What's more likely and what is happening is that the mainstream parties will adopt different aspects of the tea party mantra. More than tea party ideology, the key recently to electoral victories has been to NOT be remotely related in any shape or form to an incumbent's political party. Across this country, incumbents are having to work harder. Martha Coakley dropped the ball and lost Ted Kennedy's Senate seat by underestimating Cosmo Model...I mean...then-State Sen. Scott Brown. Even John McCain is getting a tough run in Arizona, and he was the Republican nominee for President.

The tea party movement won't go away, but I think there's a slow hijacking of their agenda into the mainstream by Republicans and Democrats. Even Blue Dog Democrats are starting to adopt parts of the platform. So, I think, slowly, the tea party and its revelers are starting to fade into the political background.

4 comments:

XQRX912 said...

It is hardly a surprise that TP [Tea Partiers] do not connect with voters. Remind me, what does the TP actually stand for? 21st Century KnowNothings, [Mugwumps actually had a platform]. They may be Perot 2.010. Libertarians have a program. TPs are simply disgruntled.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I agree with your conclusion, Jon. Even some Democrats are starting the Coffee Party.

Anonymous said...

What just happened in the past three elections. Or is this your way of avoiding and diverting that key Democrat held offices have been upset by this movement. I dont think there will be a formal Tea Party added to the ballots, but the movement has done its job to benefit Republicans and Independents.

I really cant believe you wrote this and believe it.

Marycatherine Barton said...

The Honorable Ron Paul and supporters started the tea party movement, but from today's version, reportedly three are running against the highly popular Paul, in the Republican primary in Texas.