Tea Partiers Set To Divide GOP; Expect More Democratic Victories
With a recent poll showing that if the Tea Party movement were an actual party it would have more support than Republicans, the movement is energized, ready to apply purity tests, and poised to divide the Republican Party. Buoyed by derailing a mainstream Republican in New York’s 23rd Congressional district (which put a Democrat in office), they plan to challenge Democrats in 2010, of course, but also Republicans who they deem too liberal.
Their targets include Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina in California and GOP Governor Charlie Crist in in Florida. Even among tea party groups, there is much infighting.
The tea party movement is splintered into hundreds of local and state-level groups that have differing rules and goals and for the most part have not participated in big-money politics. Many of the groups have been torn apart by personal feuds in recent months; one major umbrella organization, the Tea Party Patriots, has filed a lawsuit against a founding board member who signed on with a rival, the Tea Party Express.
What mainstream Republicans say publicly about this movement may not match what they truly believe.
Publicly, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele and other GOP leaders praise the tea party movement as a crucial component of the party’s base that will help Republicans make substantial gains in 2010. But the push from the right has also worsened infighting over the GOP’s course.Click here for reuse options!
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