While watching news reports on the Florida Primary and seeing Newt Gingrich get his hat handed to him early one piece of information jumped out at me. Fox News reported that 66% of the people polled during exiting said they supported the Tea Party. Let that soak in. This is a state that is voting for what many say would be the last guy the tea party would support, yet they believe that the tea party is a good thing and believe in the mission.
So what did Floridians do? They voted for the guy who currently is getting the highest polling vs Obama. No other Republican is achieving these numbers. So for Floridians it seems that it comes down to electability. Fox also reported that the people that claimed tea party affiliation split their vote fairly evenly for both Romney and Gingrich. What would you expect when the front-runners are a man of dubious conservative bone fides and a man who has at time made enemies deep within his own party.
They also said the economy was the most important issue right now. So the votes for Romney would seem to be an acknowledgement of his business skills.
But let’s get back to the Tea Party. There has been some debate about the lack of presence in this primary season. But I will say that it is the “accountability” issue that is the strong suit for the tea party. The opposition of the Tea party is not any one conservative or even moderate candidate for that matter. The opponent of the tea party are the statist sand socialistic left. The strong emotion of the 2010 elections is still alive and well but spread out over the field. The activism will certainly swell once the field is better defined and you can bet that any Senator, Representative or President who voted to spend like a drunken sailor and force Americans to buy health insurance will know that the tea party is not dead but merely waiting for a solid target to defeat.
The people of Florida just said the tea party is relevant and come November the Democrats who towed the party line will know the tea party is here to stay.
See you in November.