Tea party convergence: Big boost for Republicans in Election 2010
The tea party movement has evolved from a scattered insurgency into a sophisticated, organized effort. Its energy and enthusiasm about the midterm elections is helping Republicans.
It’s still three weeks and a couple days before the midterm election. But the likelihood of a Republican takeover in Congress just keeps growing, powered by a major boost from the tea party movement – a political phenomenon that has evolved from a scattered and sometimes flaky insurgency into a sophisticated, organized effort.Skip to next paragraph
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In his latest estimate, polling expert Nate Silver of the FiveThirtyEight blog says Republicans have a 72 percent chance of taking over the House, up from 67 percent last week. Also, he writes in his latest New York Times column, the GOP has “nearly even odds of a achieving a net gain of 50 seats” – 11 more than it needs to become the majority party in the House.
No doubt that’s thanks in large measure to the higher level of preelection energy among tea-fueled Republicans.
“On every measure, strong supporters of the tea party movement stand above the rest of the field,” writes Dan Balz in the Post.
“For starters, take the question of whether people are very interested in these elections,” Balz writes. “Forty-three percent of Democrats said they are. Among Republicans, 57 percent said they're very interested. Among tea party supporters the figure was 74 percent, and among the strongest tea party supporters it was 83 percent.”
Tea partyers want a GOP Congress
While the Republican Party has had its run-ins with tea partyers – most notably in GOP primaries where establishment candidates got whacked – the Washington Post-Kaiser-Harvard poll shows a large majority of tea party supporters favoring a GOP takeover of Congress.
Meanwhile, what probably should have been called the “tea parties” – over the past year there have been many disparate and sometimes contending groups – are becoming more organized and unified as the election approaches.
Similar coordinating efforts are underway in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Virginia, Texas, and Ohio, reports the Wall Street Journal. And for now, at least, tea party groups are lining up behind Republican candidates for the most part – which Democrats warn is a scary development.