Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

September 16, 2010

Host: Ted Simons

Tea Party Movement

  • Professor Richard Herrera, of ASU’s School of Politics and Global Studies discusses the Tea Party movement.
  • Richard Herrera - Professor, ASU’s School of Politics and Global Studies
Category: Vote 2010

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Good evening and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. The Tea Party candidates around the country earned some impressive victories this week in the latest round of primaries. But how will this early success translate to the general election? Here to talk about the Tea Party movement and what it means to the GOP is Dr. Richard Herrera. He's a professor at ASU's school of politics and global studies. Thanks for joining us. We had a primary election in Delaware and seems like a political earthquake happened. What's going on?

Dr. Herrera:
It absolutely was an earthquake: A nine-time incumbent house member and two-time governor was basically thrown out by the Republican voters in Delaware and it was worthy of the name earthquake.

Ted Simons:
So, we had similar results in Kentucky and Nevada and Colorado, Alaska, these sorts of -- the impact of the Tea Party on the Republican party. It sounds like a civil war going on.

Dr. Herrera:
It does, the sort of interparty politics going on is not uncommon. It it's visible and has leadership because you've got names attached to it like Sarah Palin, who is sort of leading some of the charges and you also have a lot of money behind it as well. The Tea Party Express of California has been active in funding some candidates and backed up for candidates are who are not mainstream candidates to run effective campaigns.

Ted Simons:
What do Tea Party-ers want and what is the Republican party not giving them?

Dr. Herrara:
What Tea Party-ers want. Is what they want a return to what they call Republicanism, ala Ronald Reagan. They want to remove Washington as we know it. That is, really, replace the incumbents who are there. By establishment Tea Party activists they mean just about everybody. Their main targets are Democrats because they're the ones they see a responsible for exploding the role of government. But also not happy with a lot of Republican mainstream establishment candidates and politicians because they see them as responsible, especially during the Bush years doing the same thing the Democrats have done for years. The first phase is to replace Republican candidates did their type of Republican candidates and the second phase is to go after Democrats, which is the bigger goal.

Ted Simons:
We're also hearing mainstream Republicans come you go up out with nasty things to say about folks running in their own party.

Dr. Herrara:
They really are, and part of it is because it's a interparty squabble and a struggle for the hearts and minds of the Republican party right now.

Ted Simons:
Will the GOP establishment, come November, will they support these Tea Party candidates or will they stay home, will they for a democrat?

Dr. Herrara:
The leadership will support them because they want them to win, if for no other reason than to obtain majority in both houses of congress. Whether the voters will is another question. There is sizeable numbers of moderate Republicans in the states and depending on which state, you'll find more or fewer of them. The difference might be, in states like Delaware, the passion is behind the tea party supporters, it’s behind the more angry group of Republican voters who are going to turn out on election day in November. It's possible that the moderate Republicans will turned off completely from voting for Christine O'Donnell, for example, and that means they’re also not going to be voting for other Republicans because they won't be voting and that could have effects in some key states.

Ted Simons:
Downticket items, could be affected. You mentioned getting control of the senate. There's definitely a goal and it definitely looks like it's within their grasp but if you get control with a bunch of folks that you can't control, what dynamic is there?

Dr. Herrara:
That's an interesting one, but really, a lot of Republicans who are -- may win -- are tea party supported, they may support the establishment Republican leadership at least for the time being because where else would they go. They're certainly not going to support the senate Democrats have nothing to offer them, so really they have no place to go but within their own party and starting to see the internal politics play out. You have senators like Jim Demint who is getting from front of the Tea Party movement to claim the mantle of that group. Could be a sign he's interested this moving to the leadership position.

Ted Simons:
Interesting…in Arizona, we don't hear a heck of a lot about the Tea Party here. Is that because the conservatives here pretty much run the show as far as the Republican party is concerned and they’re already over there with the Tea Party?

Dr. Herrara:
I think that's part of the explanation. Absolutely. Republicans in Arizona tend to be more conservative than other states so you don't have a need for a movement, so to speak, and the Tea Party organization in Arizona hasn't shown to be large or effective in getting out the vote, relative to say Tea Party efforts in other states.

Ted Simons:
Alright, good stuff, thanks for joining us, we appreciate it.

Dr. Herrara:

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