Tea Party support, more than anything else, appears to substantially correlate with the more straightforward characteristics of being a core, conservative Republican. Thus, these trends may suggest that the GOP is on a more moderate track in general. Clearly Mitt Romney’s presidential nomination in 2012 was evidence of waning Tea Party support, and currently the Tea Party cannot even claim majority support of the GOP base, further hindering its influence to remake the party in its own image. The results of several high profile primary contests later this month will be important indicators of the reality of the Tea Party’s influence. Still, whatever else happens, Tea Party supporters will continue to be a presence in American politics because of their apparent motivation and interest in election outcomes, factors that, more than likely, will translate into support for candidates, and higher Election Day turnout.
Right. Of course, Romney was nominated with solid backing from the Gentry GOP, while the Tea Partiers frittered their primary numbers away in backing half a dozen candidates, most of which were no-hopers.
Frittered? Sure: Romney’s popular primary vote total in 2012 was barely more than 50% – 52.3%. But it took Romney several months before he managed to achieve a 50% majority in any single primary, and many of his later lopsided victories were achieved after the only “viable” candidate still opposing him was Rick Santorum, who was simply too much for many of us to stomach – or vote for.
I’d like to see Gallup run a poll in which they compare support for the establishment GOP versus support for the Tea Party. That’s not likely to happen, though. Too embarrassing for the Gentry.
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