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Tea party pushed to the side by Trump juggernaut



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Photo: The Daily Beast

The tea party movement, which dominated Republican elections in 2010 and 2012 and forced Congress to move to the right policywise, has hit a rough patch.

House Tea Party Caucus Chairman Tim Huelskamp lost his primary this week, meaning one of the movement’s leading voices on Capitol Hill will go silent.

Meanwhile, on the presidential campaign trail, Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential hopes fizzled out quickly, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was booed off stage at the Republican National Convention and Sen. Marco Rubio is now seen by many as a member of the GOP establishment.

The reversal of fortune has left tea party leaders wondering where it went downhill — and the answer they keep coming back to is Donald Trump.

“I had been predicting a tea party resurgence in 2016 because I thought the climate was right for it, but the only problem was that a guy named Donald Trump came along and basically co-opted the movement,” said Judson Phillips, head of Tea Party Nation.



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  1. oh thats it Trump did. he also makes all our bread rise too.
    These folks were replaced by MODERATES. aka RINOS… these folks were not voted out by Trump supporters but rather voted in my Moderate republicans who the Tea Party and Trump have abandoned.
    Moderate Republicans out number Trump supporters. period. he never got past 20-30% in so many states. That make 70% of folks in may states DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM.

  2. I’m sorry, but the Trump movement (regretfully) has little in common with the Tea Party movement. Trump has not focused his campaign on the Tea Party issues of debt, deficits, unfunded liabilities, and tax policy. In addition, the Trump coalition is different from the Tea Party coalition, as evidenced by the extraordinary increase in turnout from the 2010 and 2012 primary elections to the 2016 primary election. Different issues, different voters. To say Trump co-opted the movement is just laughable.

  3. Please, Tim Huelskamp’s loss had nothing to do with Trump. Well it did in a way as the Republican establishment wanted him out because he would not drink the hemlock served by Boehner, Ryan et al. His position on amnesty and illegal immigration were strong and he opposed it- the elites hated him for that and the Chamber of Commerce and Farm Bureau types poured tons of money in to defeat him.
    That is what really happened. Who writes this stuff? They are either very unaware or have an agenda that does not include truth and reality

  4. Yesterday I posted on my own Facebook page
    I think Rush Limbaugh mis-diagnosed the Tim Huelskamp loss. I am a grass roots activist. Last week I received this. Huelskamp was taken out by Boehner’s money & friends much like IL. Rep. Ken Dunkin was taken out by Michael Madigan for not showing up for a vote to take power from governor Rauner….
    Today, Rush corrected himself

  5. The Tea Party neutered themselves by getting in bed with the Boehner and Ryan types instead of getting rid of them. They never cared much about trade or immigration. They became irrelevant all on their own. They never cared much about MARs.

  6. Yes the establishment held s gun to voters heads and forced them to vote moderate. Lol.
    These folks lost because they were too extreme even for their constituents. If there constituents were pleased with them they would have lost so brutally.
    This is more about using extremism as an excuse to DO NOTHING. this is obrstuctnist GOP party is in serious trouble. Polling indicates because of the Trump drag the senate majority will be lost. The house is gerrymadered pretty tight by the iGOP but even their majority there is threatened by the Trump dead weight.

  7. Interesting that I got this right from the gitgo and before Limbaugh.
    I am going to pat myself on the back.
    But again, I will repeat- who writes this stuff- and why do people like Limbaugh fall for it.
    I can answer both of my rhetorical questions but since I am not a ‘wise’ pundit like these others I don’t have the space and won’t bother.
    Thanks JanS for bringing this to my attention!

  8. He got past 30% in almost every state, past 40% in a bunch, and past 50% in some big ones. If Trump loses, there will be a resurgence of the TP in 2018 and I predict right now that Mrs. Palin will win the nomination in 2020 whether you like it or not.

  9. You clearly have no clue about what you’re talking about or Trump wouldn’t have won and won big. What’s happening in the general election is totally irrelevant. What happened to Huelskamp is that the Boehner cronies spent big money in the race, turning out Democrats. that’s what they did in Mississippi. They turned out welfare and food stamp leeches and it worked. It didn’t work against Trump because that vote was split up everywhere AND Trump turned people out like never before. Anyway, 2018 will be a Tea Party landslide. The Democrats will be swamped everywhere. I think the Republicans could pick up a dozen seats. It’ll be a better year than 2014 with better states up. Plus, most GOP governors will be in a good position as the national party out of power.