The Tea Party and the 2010 midterm election

The latest issue of PS: Political Science and Politics contains an article by BYU professors Christopher Karpowitz, Quin Monson, Kelly Patterson, and Jeremy Pope that analyzes the effect of the Tea Party on the 2010 midterm election. Specifically, they examined the effect of a Tea Party endorsement on the outcomes of both primary and general elections. They found that a Tea Party endorsement in the Republican primary election resulted the candidate receiving an increase of 8-9% of the vote. They also found, however, that Tea Party endorsements had almost zero effect on the candidate’s performance in the general election. In other words, being backed by the Tea Party helped Republican congressional candidates win their primary election, but didn’t make much of a difference in the general election.

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