Tea Party turn out machine operating under media radar
Also, the Tea Party -- which wasn't around back in 2008 -- is adding grassroots muscle that the GOP lacked last time around. All over the country, Tea Partiers are doing the unglamorous work of knocking on doors, compiling voter lists, arranging Election Day car pools and so on. And in some places, they're going further.
One project -- Volunteers for Virginia -- aims to take people from red states like Tennessee and Texas and get them to Virginia, a swing state, to do grassroots work between now and Nov. 6. Another group, NobamaNevada, is taking Tea Partiers from deep-blue California to work in swing-state Nevada. In both cases, the idea is to move resources from where they won't help to places where they will.
That's the sort of thing that big-bucks professional campaigns do all the time. But this time, the Tea Party movement is doing it on its own. Self-organizing, rather than being organized.
In 2010, the Tea Party movement delivered a huge setback to Obama and the Democrats in congressional elections. And from 2010 up to now, it's delivered telling blows to insufficiently responsible Republican legislators in one primary election and caucus after another. (Just ask former Utah Sen. Robert Bennett, or Indiana's Richard Lugar, or even the victorious but chastened Orrin Hatch).
But now comes the Tea Party's biggest test. Can it swing a close presidential election against a dependency-loving incumbent, and in favor of a fiscally responsible challenger?The Tea Party was important in getting out the votes for Ted Cruz in Texas who won a surprisingly easy victory in the primary runoff. It is an organizations that has gone from demonstrations to grass roots organization and it is very good at it. We saw it in the Wisconsin recall race where they out organized organized labors vaunted ground game.
We are seeing it in other ways too where Democrat registrations are down, and Republican registrations are up in the swing states.
The Democrats still have much of teh media and in places like Ohio, the Democrat bias is nearly toxic. Beating them would be almost as much fun as beating the Democrats.