Have TN Tea Parties Lost Their Steam?

Buoyed by the fruits of redistricting, which came on the heels of the Republican Party’s big win in the 2010 midterm elections, tea party groups see new opportunities to nudge the state in a more conservative direction. observes Chas Sisk.
But unlike in Indiana, Texas and many other states where their clout has resounded loudly, Tennessee’s tea party groups have not yet rallied around a slate of candidates, lowering the likelihood that they will be able to tip the balance in races this fall.
Canny positioning by the state’s GOP politicians and a long tradition of electing moderates appear to have taken steam out of the tea party movement.
Fractured and leaderless, tea party groups in Tennessee are largely pursuing their own priorities in the August Republican primary and November’s general election. That makes it difficult for any to mount the sort of upset bid that has already claimed U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar in Indiana and carried former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz into a runoff for a U.S. Senate seat from that state.
Tennessee’s tea parties have made their presence felt at the local level. Last week, a tea party rally at the Limelight nightclub in Nashville drew scores of activists eager to mobilize against plans for a Metro property tax increase.

Note: See also Reuters’ report on Tennessee Tea parties.

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