Nate Silver: Time to Ditch 'Tea Party' Label

Image: Nate Silver: Time to Ditch 'Tea Party' Label

Friday, 23 May 2014 01:11 PM

By Melanie Batley

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
It's time to abandon the term "tea party," says Nate Silver, ESPN's election guru.

As a euphemism for a type of conservatism, it is too vague to define, and as a description for a successful political movement, the figures do not bear that out, he  says.

Silver, a former New York Times statistician, expressed this view as he reflected on Tuesday's primaries, in which Republican incumbents prevailed over tea party challengers.

"According to a series of mainstream media accounts, [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell 'crushed' the tea party in 'the latest big beat' for the movement, which is 'losing steam' as the economy improves," Silver wrote in an article for his website, FiveThirtyEight.

"What is the tea party, exactly? That's not so clear. There are a constellation of groups, like Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks, and Americans for Prosperity, who sometimes associate themselves with the movement or are associated with it. But their agendas can range from libertarian to populist and do not always align," he said.

"Is the tea party opposed to the Republican establishment or has it been co-opted by it? That’s also hard to say," he said, arguing that its vagueness inherently limits its usefulness.
Meanwhile, the implication that the "tea party" is a potent political movement, is shaky at best, as electoral statistics do not reflect that to be the case.

"From 2004 to 2008, Republican incumbents got an average of 88 percent of the vote in their party primaries, compared to 78 percent from 2010 to 2012," he said, adding that in this week's primaries, the three incumbent Republican senators received an average of 67 percent of the vote.

"For all the talk of the rise of the tea party, only three out of 19 incumbent Republican senators in 2010 and 2012 were defeated," Silver wrote.

He concludes by saying, "Whether the Republican Party continues its drift to the right — something that I don't think should be taken for granted — is an important question. The evidence for it will manifest only noisily in individual races, however. Narratives centered on the rise and fall of the tea party may not give us a clearer perspective."

Related Stories:


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Expert: Immigration Order a Political Gamble for Dems

Friday, 21 Nov 2014 13:29 PM

President Barack Obama's decision to make an executive order on immigration amounts to a dangerous gamble for Democrats  . . .

Rep. Aaron Schock: Obama's Action Destroyed Trust

Friday, 21 Nov 2014 10:39 AM

President Barack Obama destroyed trust with Republicans by moving forward with an executive order on immigration that wi . . .

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Join to Denounce Amnesty, Promote Reform

Friday, 21 Nov 2014 08:15 AM

The prospective field of GOP presidential hopefuls has found one thing they agree on:President Obama is wrong to take ex . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved