Sunday, June 23, 2013


This article in the LA Times by Doyle McManus mentioned Harvard professor Theda
Skocpol and I found out that she & one of her graduate students have published a book on the Baggers, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.
Skocpol thinks the Baggera are pretty effective:
“I think a lot of people on the liberal side have this image that grass-roots members are uneducated, irrational people,” Skocpol says. “That is not correct. Tea Partiers are quite effective organizers, and they’re quite pragmatic in their political choices.” Their candidate may lose the general election, as Senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell did in Delaware, but O’Donnell’s primary victory successfully warned moderate Republican politicians about possible challenges from the right, she points out. Tea Partiers “want to win.”
Here are some findings from a paper that seems to summarize the book's findings:
- there are perhaps a few hundred active Tea Party groups nationally, and only a small fraction of those groups have memberships over five hundred people.

- As of July 2010, sixteen Tea Party groups listed on MeetUp had more than 500 members; seven of these groups were in Florida and four were in Texas. About 250 other Tea Party MeetUp groups had more than 100 members, and there were several hundred other, smaller Tea Party groups.

- The conservative media have played a crucial role in forging the shared beliefs and the collective identity around which Tea Partiers have united. This community-building effort has been lead by Fox News, with a strong assist from talk radio and the conservative blogosphere.

1 comment:

Ken Hoop said...

How effective are they? Well check the Cunningham national podcast yesterday. He spent a long time claiming the IRS threw the election from Romney to Obama by its Tea Party persecution. If the Tea Party was prepared to vote for Patriot Act/Iraq War supporter Romney-- whom Ron Paul refused, rightly, to support--not very effective at all.