Is the Tea Party Falling Apart?

Is the Tea Party Falling Apart?

Melissa Harris-Lacewell talks about the key losses for the Tea Party in the Michigan and Missouri primaries.


The idea that the Tea Party is an accurate representation of Americans’ political views was put to the test in this week’s primaries—and it turns out that it’s a false notion. More moderate Republicans won out over the Tea Party faction of the right in Kansas, Missouri and Michigan. The Nation‘s Melissa Harris-Lacewell joins Keith Olbermann on Countdown to discuss what these losses signify for the future of the Tea Party in America. 

The Tea Party, she says, is part of a traditional extremist backlash that occurs before a political party moves back to the center. "When a party loses the White House, what it tends to do in the midterm is to pull to the extreme. We’ve seen it happen over and over again," Harris-Lacewell explains. "But then what it finds out is… most people’s opinions are kind of towards the middle, with just a few people, often very vocal people, out on the edges. But if you want to win an election, you’ve got to get a majority of the people, which always means moving into the center of that normal curve." 

—Carrie Battan

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