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The Source: Tea Party Strength At The Polls

WFAA and the Texas Tribune

With tea party-backed candidates losing big races in Kentucky with Sen. Mitch McConnell and in North Carolina with Thom Tillis, as well as less well-known races in Oregon and Georgia, is the national tea party movement in decline?

While some may be making claims that the tea party's reign is coming to an end, the evidence of their outsized influence is still plentiful. And the polls show their values still resonate with many and is about the same as when the movement first hit the scene. 

Here in Texas the movement remains strong, with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst still behind in the polls in his runoff against tea party-endorsed state Sen. Dan Patrick to keep his seat. Tea party candidates did well in the legislative primaries in March as well. 

What is the state of tea party strength as we approach election season nationally and in Texas? How have they influenced the GOP mainstream?


  • Karlyn Bowman, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
  • Cal Jillson, professor of political science at Southern Methodist University in Dallas

*This is the second segment in the May 22 edition of The Source, which airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM. Audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive