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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Limits of the Tea Party

In The Wall Street Journal, Stu Woo and Jim Carlton make an important point about the limits of the tea party movement:

The California and Nevada primaries illustrate a potential weakness of the tea-party movement: The bigger and more complex the stage, the more money and organization the movement needs. It has little of either now.

Tea-party activists, in their crusade to reduce government spending and taxation, have notched three victories so far this year. But all occurred in small-turnout, low-cost Senate races: a state-convention vote in Utah, a primary in Kentucky and a special election in Massachusetts, although other factors were also at play there. Nevada, with its population of 2.6 million, promises to provide the next victory in this category.

In California, with a population nearing 40 million, the movement has had trouble sustaining itself without adequate resources. That suggests some populist candidates may face challenges in the general election, which draws far more voters than primaries and requires more money for advertising.