Monday, August 5, 2013

Will the Tea Party Sit Out 2014?

From Naples News

But as many tea party stars seek re-election next year and Rubio considers a 2016 presidential run, conservative activists are finding themselves at a crossroads. Many of their standard-bearers have embraced more moderate positions on bedrock issues such as immigration and health care, broadening their appeal in swing states but dampening grass-roots passion. 
"They keep sticking their finger in the eyes of the guys who got them elected," said Ralph King, a co-founder of the Cleveland Tea Party Patriots. "A lot of people are feeling betrayed." 
The tea party is a loosely knit web of activists, and some are hoping to rekindle the fire with 2014 primary challenges to wayward Republicans. But many more say they plan to sit out high-profile races in some important swing states next year, a move that GOP leaders fear could imperil the re-election prospects of former tea party luminaries, including the governors of Florida and Ohio...
The midterm elections are a long ways away and a lot can happen between now and then. Personally, I believe it far more likely that some of the "establishment" Republicans will see primary challenges from their right. Two prominent Republican senators, minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, already have primary opponents lining up against them (though regardless of whi wins those primaries, the seats will likely stay in GOP hands). Should these farther right candidates win their primary races enmasse, this could pose a problem for the GOP as a whole. While it could help them to keep the House, it may cost them the Senate just as it did in the 2010 midterm elections. The Tea Party has clearly not learned that lesson from four years ago.

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