Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why the GOP Should Be Grateful for the Tea Party

The most common lines I hear from establishment Republicans recently is that the Tea Party lost us the Senate seats in Nevada and Delaware. Looking back at September 2010, that could be partly true. The establishment picks that Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell beat in the primaries were much better positioned (at that time!) to beat the Democrat candidates.

What the GOP fails to see is what seats the Tea Party DID win for them!

You don't have to look that far back. Take the summer of 2009, barely 16 months ago. The Republicans had suffered devastating losses. The Democrats had just won a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a large majority in the House. The GOP was called "a disappearing species" or "a regional party". While a few House seats were expected to be gained in the midterms, there was a 0 chance of them winning back the House. With more Republican Senators up for re-election than Democrats, a few more losses in the Senate could've been predicted.

Then what happened around June/July 2009? The tea parties started. All of a sudden, the disillusioned Republican voters (many of them who skipped the 2008 elections) were becoming energized. People who never cared about local politics got involved. The wave was started. The first Republican wins appeared.

Now fast forward to the summer of 2010. 10-11 Democrat-held Senate seats wer ein play, while no Republican was vulnerable. Up to 90 Democrat-held House races became competitive (in a normal midterm election there are about 30-40). One year after the tea party got involved in Republican politics, we were EXPECTED to win back the House, and were having a remote chance of regaining the Senate as well.

So before blaming the tea party for losing Nevada and Delaware, you gotta thank the tea party for winning Massachussetts, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. And also thank the tea party for saving the Senate seats in Florida, Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri.

And a note to my local Republicans: Before blaming the tea party for "losing" the NJ-6 congressional race, you have to thank them for winning about 40-50 more House seats than we were expected to win before the tea party started.

No comments:

Post a Comment