The victory of Ted Cruz in Texas should quell any apprehension pundits might have about the Tea Party’s life span. It’s not on life support. However, the Old Media feels that the Tea Party is running out of gas, It’s the only explanation for this grossly presumptuous piece by Elizabeth Hartfield. The title? "Tea Party Candidates Losing Steam in 2012." This wouldn’t be the first time ABC fabricated a story.
In her post, which came before Cruz’s resounding win, Hartfield stated that “it’s too early to declare the 'death of the Tea-Party' movement. But the so-called Tea Party candidates have yet to claim the kind of wins that they did before.” Well, that was generous. She claimed:
Only one Tea Party candidate has won the GOP nomination in their state’s Senate race. Richard Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer, defeated longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in the state’s primary in May.
Other candidates who were, at one point or another, considered strong contenders in GOP primaries ended up with relatively weak showings in their respective contests.
In Nebraska, state Treasurer Don Stenberg, once considered the strong challenger to the “establishment” candidate, Attorney General Jon Bruning, wound up finishing third in the GOP primary, with both candidates losing to state Sen. Deb Fischer. In Utah, Sen. Orrin Hatch defeated Tea Party challenger Dan Liljenquist by a margin of more than 30 percent, according to unofficial results from the Associated Press.
One big “establishment vs. Tea Party” primary has yet to take place. In Texas, former Solicitor General Ted Cruz, who is widely viewed as an up-and-coming Tea Party star and frequently compared to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (both men are of Hispanic descent) is in the final weeks of a runoff with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is viewed as the establishment candidate in the race. Polls have consistently shown Dewhurst in the lead, but some political observers in the state believe that Cruz could benefit from the July 31 runoff, where turnout will be low and likely consist of a more steadfastly conservative demographic.
Well Ms. Hartfield, Cruz won! Lastly, Deb Fischer was backed by Sarah Palin and anyone who isn’t part of the establishment who wins in the final showdown is a Tea Party victory.For heaven’s sake, even The Atlantic placed Deb Fischer’s Nebraska Senate Primary victory as a win for the Tea Party.
Who cares if a lot of people ran in a race and diluted the vote? The point is that our candidates won. Candidates who feel that standing on principle is more important than trivial intra-party politics. If you think I’m wrong, then Gov. Scott Walker would not have survived his recall election. When you hold firm to your convictions, the voters will rewards you and the grassroots effort will unite behind you.
Nevertheless, Hartfield quotes Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, saying “my sense of this is that the Tea Party is traveling the route that we would expect historically for a movement of its sort…in the beginning it has more energy than it does two years later and two years after that. In part, it’s because it’s been very successful already and in part it’s because over time, busy Americans lose interest.”