The TEA Party divided the GOP for six years. It was destructive and a failure to negotiate much needed legislation throughout the 112th and 113th Congress. TEA Party goals are destructive rather than constructive. Congress’ poor favorability rating can be attributed directly to the party within a party which is supported by the most wealthy Americans such as the Koch brothers. In 2008 the TEA Party was making plans for a presidential bid in 2016; they will fail.
Although politicians may be extremists, the majority of Americans are more centrist. The TEA Party made a splash in 2008 and again in 2012, but it has lost favor with the majority of conservatives. The latest polls which asked the question of Republican voters who they would support in 2016, revealed an enormous amount of information. The most favored potential candidate was Mitt Romney; the second, Jeb Bush.
The GOP is comprised primarily of a group of aging white men and their wives who support their husbands without question. Romney and Bush fit the demographics completely. Third in their choice was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is a moderate.
Expected TEA Party hopefuls are Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul. In the latest polls they barely registered. This does not guarantee that a change will not occur by the middle of 2015, but the polls are a reflection of American voters’ desire to see government return to a workable entity.
In all reality, this week Jeb Bush declared his candidacy for the White House in 2016 when he resigned from two of his private positions. The fear shone bright in the eyes of fellow Floridian Marco Rubio.
Rubio’s lack of a firm stance on immigration reform and his recent proclamation condemning renewed diplomatic relations with Cuba, his parent’s country of origin, already have him in the back row of possible candidates.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a TEA Party faithful and once considered a front runner, reportedly has a four percent chance of obtaining the Republican nomination.
The single possibility is Rand Paul who has recently taken more moderate positions of the critical issues which will be important in the 2016 election. However, his libertarian views may cost him support financially.
The significance of the polls is that the GOP may be able to retake control of their party in 2015. Extremists have failed to obliterate the values of the Republican Party. Voters from both sides of the aisle expect more cooperation and serious deliberation in the 114th Congress.
Throughout the past six years election results have demonstrated a vast majority of voters cast their ballots purely on political affiliation. Polls reveal that an increasing number of those who actually go to the polls on Election Day are aligning themselves with independents. Although both parties would deny it, the average voter is disenchanted with the party of their choice. Neither supports the desires and needs of the working class.
Republicans will likely have multiple candidates to choose from in 2016. The debates will likely once again be plentiful, and it may take several of them to witness the elimination of unfavorable hopefuls.
The GOP has not experienced a strong candidate since George Herbert Walker Bush in 1988. Will a ‘dark horse’ candidate emerge from the shadows?
Although there will be many hopefuls, will any of them be a viable candidate?
By James Turnage