Tea Party Kinda Sorta Killing Republican Hopes for November Victory 2010

Posted on September 14, 2010


In states where primaries in August handed victories to “Republican” candidates backed by the tea party, the Democrats briefly bounced back in the polls  but today races are tight with Tea Party candidates seen as surging [CNBC].

In the establishment versus outsiders frame of the 2010 primaries, Tuesday night  [August 10]  produced a mixed outcome: establishment victories for the Democrats and “tea party” victories for the Republicans. [CSM]

Sarah Palin kinda sorta saw this coming months ago when she urged independents to pick a party and support it:

Now the smart thing will be for independents who are such a part of this Tea Party movement to, I guess, kind of start picking a party,” Palin said. “Which party reflects how that smaller, smarter government steps to be taken? Which party will best fit you? And then because the Tea Party movement is not a party, and we have a two-party system, they’re going to have to pick a party and run one or the other: ‘R’ or ‘D’.” [HotAir]

Mrs. Palin even went so far as to join Republican fund-raising efforts this year but that has seemed to lose traction.  What she is best known for is the Tea Party and the candidates who have gone on to victory in the primaries that she has endorsed have become known as Tea Party candidates.  In short, the Tea Party Movement is now functioning as a de facto third party.  To quote commentator Classic Film of Frugal Cafe Blog:

Dividing into a “Tea Party” party will be a disaster, as it will split voting and give Democrats an unanticipated advantage. We’ve had other third-party candidates over the years, and it does little to resolve problems but instead, to create new ones.

Steele [Republican Party Chairman]  needs to get a backbone and stick closer to conservative rather than RINO principles.

While Sarah Palin endorses as Sarah Palin, her identity with the Tea Party Movement is so strong she begins to appear the head of a third party movement in spite of herself. In Delaware, the contest for Joe Biden’s seat has thrown the power of Palin’s endorsements into relief.  It is a key race and the outcome will in large part point to the end result in November.  Palin has thrown her support behind Christina O’Donnell and not the moderate Republican candidate, Mike Castle.

The Republicans will pickup seats in November but enough to take back the House?  The political landscape in the US is such that the good old middle of the road is where most people still are.  Conservative Palin Republicans need to take a page from Barack Obama’s campaign manual and start inroads into the Independent strongholds as well as into RHINO territory if they are to salvage the GOP.

Sarah Palin cannot help in the effort to attract independents to the Republican cause if she remains synonymous with the term  Tea Party Movement.  In a piece from the AP, the situation has been characterized as follows:

The primary season is ending as it began, the Republican establishment on one side in state after state, and tea party activists on another.The competition is particularly strong in Delaware and New Hampshire, where GOP senatorial nominations are the prize, and New York, where Republicans pick a challenger for an uphill fall campaign for governor.