Not the first thing I’ve written about the Tea Party and 2016, definitely won’t be the last either.
Report from the Washington Post:
The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Mitt Romney, who is not running (probably?), leading the field, with former Florida governor Jeb Bush in second place. As we’ve written before, though, the GOP hopefuls are so jumbled that the margin of error renders these kinds of polls pretty meaningless. Throw in Romney’s non-candidacy, and they are even less revealing of anything.
But one thing the polls do show right now is quite interesting, and that is that the tea party trails.
Let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that the most tea party-friendly candidates in the potential 2016 GOP primary field are Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), along with neurosurgeon Ben Carson. These three, more than the others, appear to be aligned with that movement, even as someone like Paul is far more complex than the “tea party” label.
And despite a reasonably high profile for all three men — at least among the GOP base — they take a grand total of 17 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, more establishment-oriented Republicans such as Romney, Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) combine to take 43 percent.
Essentially the “establishment” block of candidates is getting more early support than the “tea party” block of candidates. I’m not sure deducing those numbers indicates a whole lot other than the desire by many Republican voters to want to win which means they’re leaning “mainstream.”
The 2012 cycle brought us the Tea Party Debate, which was a venture between the Tea Party Express and CNN. Based on the RNC taking more control of the 2016 debate schedule, I doubt we’ll be seeing any debate which gives the Tea Party a platform beyond token recognition by individual candidates.