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SteepThe Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party$
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Lawrence Rosenthal and Christine Trost

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274228

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274228.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 November 2019

Grand Old Tea Party

Grand Old Tea Party

Partisan Polarization and the Rise of the Tea Party Movement

Chapter:
(p.195) Chapter 8 Grand Old Tea Party
Source:
Steep
Author(s):

Alan I. Abramowitz

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520274228.003.0009

This chapter analyzes the sources of support for the Tea Party movement within the American public. It also explains why the Tea Party movement emerged when it did, immediately following the election of a Democratic president and Congress in 2008, and whether the movement is likely to last beyond the 2010 midterm elections. It argues that grassroots support for the Tea Party movement can best be understood as a product of the increasing conservatism of the Republican Party's activist base over the past several decades. The other factor crucial to the emergence of the Tea Party movement at the grass roots was the election of Barack Obama as president. Obama's mixed racial heritage, his ambitious policy agenda, and the extraordinarily diverse coalition of liberals, young people, and racial minorities that supported him in 2008 all contributed to a powerful negative reaction on the part of many economic and social conservatives aligned with the Republican Party and perhaps among whites who were simply upset about having a black man in the White House.

Keywords:   Tea Party movement, Republicans, Democrats, conservatism, Republican Party, Barack Obama

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