Categorized | News, Opinion, Tea Party

One Week Later: What Was The Tea Party Effect In VA

A week after the election some political chips are starting to fall, between the GOP and Tea Party movement, both here in Virginia and Nationally. So, time for some post election “analysis”.

The first thing that caught my attention was the biggest upsets in Virginia the 9th congressional district. Fourteen term incumbent, Rick Boucher, was defeat by State Senate Majority Leader, Morgan Griffith. After the election even Governor McDonnell admitted on WRVA, Griffith’s 5-point victory surprised him “because no one really saw it coming.”

Well, I beg to differ, the Abington/Bristol/SWVA Tea Party saw it coming and worked very hard for Morgan Griffith. They exposed a 3rd party candidate as a faux tea party candidate and despite Morgan Griffith not being their first choice for candidate, they were able to reach out to him with their concerns and in the end rally for him. This was a great example coming together for one candidate, who may not have been “perfect”, but better than what they had. Good for you VA 9th. Congratulations, congressman-elect Griffith, just know district 9 is awake and watching.

Another recent story caught my attention that is a little different, congressman-elect Scott Rigell:

Appearing Sunday on Fox News, Rigell wouldn’t commit to joining a Tea Party caucus in the House, saying that’s a decision he’ll make when he gets to Washington. Rigell’s reluctance to say whether or not he plans to join the caucus could offend some Tea Party supporters in Hampton Roads, VA, where Rigell signed on to a seven-part Tea Party pledge back in August. The Hampton Roads group however, stopped short of endorsing Rigell during his campaign.

Stopping short of endorsing Rigell is an understatement, in my opinion. As a causal observer of that race, from the candidate packed primary to the weeks leading up to Nov 2nd. I was having my doubts if Rigell would win. Primarily because of it seemed that the GOP and Tea Party were constantly at odds. In fairness, GOP deserves some of the criticism, it seemed that they did not want to even consider the possibility of another candidate. And to give credit for Hampton Roads Tea Party for asking the 3rd party candidate to drop out, albeit only a week before the election.

However, I think this post on Blue Virginia. (Yes, a liberal blog) quoting Hampton Roads Tea Party, probably did more of Scott Rigell by persuading a few independents, who voted for Obama, that Rigell was not that bad. Is there any surprise that Rigell is not so quick to join the Tea Party Caucus? Well, maybe Chris Wallace is surprised.

The bottom line is when you break out the vote count in 2008, Glen Nye won by a 5 point spread. In 2010, in a very “anti-democrat incumbent” political climate, Rigell won by 10 points spread. So, let’s say 7% of that was from the tea party movement that gives you the effectiveness of the tea party at least in the 2nd district. Now we have to deal with redistricting.

About Michelle Stanley

A concern citizen, Co-Founder of Richmond Patriots, grass root activist interested in putting government back in its proper role.

2 Responses to “One Week Later: What Was The Tea Party Effect In VA”

  1. Tom White says:

    One of the biggest differences in this election, as well as the 2009 Virginia election to a lesser extent, is the knowledge of the electorate. A new phenomenon begun less than 2 years ago is the education of the voters.

    The TEA Party has been ground zero for sparking an interest in the Constitution, in activism and in the founding father’s intent.

    There were no polls conducted to see how many voters carried a copy of the Constitution into the voting booth this year, but with millions of small copies floating around, that has to be a record.

    And the question of how many people actually read the constitution or it’s amendments during the past year has to be an amazing number.

    It is like the people have eaten from the apple in the Garden of Eden. It will now take a lot higher level of Constitutional knowledge to get elected by an educated group of voters.

    We will never be able to measure the ripple effect of the TEA Party movement and the activism and education it has spawned.

    But the TEA Party’s impact on every race in the country was HUGE!

    • No doubt, Tom. The leaderless tea party has been very powerful and the movement as a whole has had a HUGE, as you said, effect. However, I think it is important to look at the approaches of the different local organizations. You know “all politics is local”. Tea Party does have an effect on the elections, but sometimes that effect could be the difference between a narrow win/loss and a landslide, like in 2009 with state election.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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