Getting Below the Surface with the Teaparties

December 31, 2010 06:44

Tea Party activists revealed themselves to be, if not completely organized, at the very least politically pragmatic, engaged, and ready to press their agenda on the local, state, and federal level well after Election Day.

Ned Ryun at American Spectator


How the relationship between the Tea Party movement and establishment Republicans will develop is going to be one of the most closely watched storylines of the next year. But if you dig deeper into what took place on Election Day, you notice some incredible missed opportunities for the Tea Party and Republicans to build on. And if Republicans expect to make a greater impact in 2012, those missed opportunities will have to be addressed.

If you go deeper into the state-level elections, you see Republicans ran roughshod over the Democrats. On November 1, according to, Democrats had a 783-member advantage over Republicans. On November 3, Republicans held a 523-member advantage, a swing of more than 1,300 seats. Across the country, conservatives and Republicans saw historic results: Republicans will hold the Minnesota state for the first time in history, the Alabama legislature for the first time since Reconstruction, and the North Carolina legislature for the first time since 1870. In Maine, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, states that Obama won definitively in 2008, Republicans won control of both the state senate and house chambers. And those changes were not by one or two seats: in the Wisconsin state assembly, Democrats had a 52-46 advantage before Election Night. After the dust settled, Republicans now hold a 60-38 advantage.

With 11 congressional districts to be reapportioned before 2012, the state legislative races will impact the federal level. Consider Texas, which stands to gain four congressional seats in 2012. Before Election Night, Republicans held a slim two-seat advantage in the Texas house. Now Republicans have a 99-51 advantage in the house, 19-12 in the senate, and hold the governor’s mansion, enough of a margin to ensure reapportionment in favor of a Republicans should go more smoothly than in previous attempts.

Ned Ryun is the founder and president of American Majority, a political training institution.


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