Tea Party Movement Still Strong Brew In Indiana, Utah, Texas Senate Races

Investor's Business Daily

While the media have suggested the Tea Party is in decline, upcoming primaries in Indiana, Utah and Texas indicate that that the movement is still robust.

On Tuesday, the GOP primary in Indiana pits six-term Sen. Dick Lugar against State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who has been endorsed by Tea Party Express and FreedomWorks.

Mourdock has leapt to a big lead, 48%-38%, according to the latest poll from Howey Politics Indiana and DePauw University.

Lugar Under Fire

While Lugar is not the most conservative senator, he has a 77% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. But he seemed to put a target on his back when early last year he told Tea Partyers to "get real" regarding the START arms-control treaty.

Stan Pennington, a member of the Tea Party group We The Hoosiers, is somewhat tepid in his support of Mourdock, saying that "the Tea Party needs people that are like-minded. I've met Mr. Mourdock and he seems to be one of those people. He'd be a better representative for us at this time than Mr. Lugar.

But Pennington makes it clear that Mourdock has benefited from grass-roots support. "That's the main base for his support. I've seen a lot of (Tea Party) people organizing for him.

FreedomWorks has spent $500,000, and Club for Growth $1.4 million, on his behalf.

Lugar has gotten support from outside groups like American Action Network and Young Guns Network. But in an ominous sign for Lugar, American Action Network recently cancelled $200,000 worth of air time.

Mitt Romney winning the GOP nomination is one factor generating stories of the Tea Party's demise. While Romney was clearly not the Tea Partyers' favorite, his inability to woo them dragged the campaign on into April, far longer than most other presidential primary seasons.

Polls purporting to show the Tea Party's fading popularity also have fed stories of the movement's decline. An April ABC News/Washington Post survey found 41% of Americans identify as Tea Partyers, down from a high of 47% last year. Forty-five percent oppose the Tea Party.

Yet Nathan Gonzales, deputy editor of The Rothenberg Political Report, suggests that the Tea Party's strength has never been based on its popularity but on its ability to impact elections.

"In 2010 the Tea Party was a big part of the GOP gains. And by the time we get to November the Tea Party is still going to be energized against President Obama in getting a second term," he said. "Right now, the Tea Party is a large factor in why Sen. Lugar might lose and why Sen. Hatch is still in a fight. By those indicators the Tea Party is still strong.

Down The Hatch?

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has spent much of the last two years currying favor with Tea Partyers in his state, hoping to avoid the fate of former Sen. Bob Bennett who was ousted in 2010 by a Tea Party challenge.

"We actually have a lot of local Tea Party people helping with our campaign," said Hatch spokeswoman Evelyn Call.

Hatch's Tea Party challenge comes from former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, who is supported by FreedomWorks. But Tea Party Express has said it will not campaign against Hatch, calling him an "original Tea Partyer.

Hatch has a nearly 90% ACU rating. Yet he angered some Tea Partyers by helping to create the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and by saying in 2009 that he wanted to work on health care reform "as a legacy" for Sen. Ted Kennedy. But Hatch has also voted against a SCHIP reauthorization and ended up opposing ObamaCare.

In Utah's system, a senator must first compete in a state convention where, if he wins 60% of the delegate votes, he can avoid a primary election. Despite Hatch's efforts, he fell 32 votes short at the late April gathering.

Utahan Roger Bringhurst says it was definitely Tea Partyers who kept Hatch from winning the convention. Bringhurst, who has supported local Tea Party groups, is backing Hatch, however.

"Hatch has the experience which we need right now to handle our budget problems," he said.

Hatch will face Liljenquist in a primary on June 26. A survey conducted for Hatch's campaign showed him leading 63%-21%.

Texas Tea

In Texas, Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz has been gaining ground vs. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Dewhurst is considered the establishment candidate, with the backing of Gov. Rick Perry.

But Cruz has been endorsed by the Tea Party Express and recently ran an ad featuring the support of local Tea Party members.

That may be paying off for Cruz. An April Public Policy Polling survey showed him trailing Dewhurst 38%-26% in the GOP Senate primary. Cruz trailed by 18 points in a January PPP poll.

If no candidate gets more than 50% in the May 29 primary, the top two will face off in a run-off.

Rates

View Comments (0)

Recommended for You

  • Tycoon buys 30 Rolls-Royces for Macau hotel

    A Hong Kong tycoon has placed the biggest ever order for Rolls-Royce cars, agreeing to buy 30 Phantoms to chauffeur guests at a luxury resort he's building in the global gambling capital of Macau. Stephen Hung's $20 million purchase surpasses the 14 Phantoms bought by Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel in…

    Associated Press
  • 1 Tip To Lose Belly Fat

    It's Hollywood's Hottest Diet And Gets Rid Of Stubborn Fat Areas Like Nothing Else.

    AdChoicesagoodcooksSponsored
  • Tycoon's arrest sends shock wave through Russia

    Tycoon's arrest sends shock wave through Russia MOSCOW (AP) — The arrest of a Russian telecoms and oil tycoon has sent shock waves through the country's business community, with some fearing a return to the dark days of a decade ago, when the Kremlin asserted its power by imprisoning the country's…

    Associated Press
  • Before You Buy Alibaba, Check Out 4 Top China Stocks

    Before You Buy Alibaba, Check Out 4 Top China Stocks While investors gear up for Alibaba Group 's (BABA) hotly anticipated initial public offering, don't forget about other Chinese stocks that are worth keeping an eye on. Today's Young Guns Screen of

    Investor's Business Daily
  • As Fed takes baby steps, Cramer's trick for profit

    In turn, Cramer says making money in the market, involves looking at the environment through the lens of the Fed. "The trick is to remember that they speak for the common person," Cramer said. "The Fed wants the common person to make money." With that backdrop always in mind, Cramer says it becomes…

    CNBC
  • Costco Stores in Canada to Stop Taking American Express

    “The credit card relationship between American Express and Costco Wholesale Canada will not be renewed when it expires” on Dec. 31, the company said today in an e-mail to Canadian customers. The message was attributed to Lorelle Gilpin, vice president of marketing and membership for Costco…

    Bloomberg
  • "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savings

    "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savingsBy the time she hit her late 40s, Toni Eugenia wasn’t sure she would ever be able to retire. Eugenia, 56, a pharmacy technician who lived in Houston, was nearly $200,000 in debt and

    Yahoo Finance
  • Beanie Babies creator's sentence debated in court

    Beanie Babies creator's sentence debated in court CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors seeking to put the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies in prison for hiding millions in Swiss bank accounts told appellate court judges Wednesday that the toymaker's sentence of probation threatens to erode the…

    Associated Press
  • Norwich Information Security MS

    Online, accredited, top ranked. NSA Center of Academic Excellence. Recognized by the Department of Homeland Security. Download your free brochure!

    AdChoicesNorwich UniversitySponsored
  • Play

    Citi, Bank of America Offer Discounted Mortgages

    Citigroup and Bank of America will offer mortgages at discounted interest rates to help borrowers with low incomes or subprime credit. AnnaMaria Andriotis joins MoneyBeat. Photo: Getty.

    WSJ Live
  • Apple to unveil new iPads, operating system on Oct. 21 : report

    The company plans to unveil the sixth generation of its iPad and the third edition of the iPad mini, as well as its operating system OS X Yosemite, which has undergone a complete visual overhaul, the Internet news website said. Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment. The iPad is…

    Reuters
  • Gilead Stock Is Falling On These Drug Setbacks

    Gilead Stock Is Falling On These Drug Setbacks Gilead Sciences (GILD) shares are backsliding Wednesday on news that the patient drop-out rate for hepatitis C drug Sovaldi is quadruple that of clinical trials. In addition, the biotech's Phase 2 study results

    Investor's Business Daily
  • Don't care about Alibaba? Here's why it may matter

    When the Alibaba Group Holding prices its initial public offering Thursday, small businesses in particular will be watching. Founder Jack Ma -the former English-teacher-turned-dot-com billionaire-has touted his e-commerce platform as a way for smaller merchants to expand their international…

    CNBC
  • Margaritaville casino owners seek bankruptcy

    The owner of Biloxi's Margaritaville casino has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, only hours before a hearing where the landlord aimed to seize the property. The filing by MVB Holding LLC in U.S. Don Dornan, a lawyer for landlord Clay Point LLC, said the company had planned to ask…

    Associated Press
  • CNBC Anchor Calls Out Fed-Hater Bill Fleckenstein In Startling Shouting Match

    CNBC Bill Fleckenstein of Fleckenstein Capital appeared on CNBC's Futures Now program on Tuesday. Futures Now host Jackie DeAngelis came out swinging, asking Fleckenstein right at the top if he was willing to admit that he had misunderstood monetary policy. Sounding taken aback, Fleckenstein…

    Business Insider
  • Wondering How You Could Save on Home Insurance?

    Get a quote from Farmers Insurance and discover how you could save. Speak with an agent to get the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.

    AdChoicesFarmers InsuranceSponsored
  • Here's What Mark Cuban Wishes He Knew About Money In His 20s

    Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. Billionaire investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban is generous with his advice. When we asked him what he wishes he'd known about money in his 20s, he said:

    Business Insider
  • Play

    Tues., Sept. 16: Watch Humana Stock

    Humana, Global X Social Media Index ETF and Majesco Entertainment are among stocks to watch. WSJ's Chris Dieterich discusses the details with Michael Casey. Photo: Humana

    WSJ Live
  • Don't buy Alibaba stock: 'Dean of Valuation'

    Investors should steer clear of Alibaba , valuation expert Aswath Damodaran said Wednesday. On CNBC's " Fast Money ," Damodaran, a professor of finance at New York University's Stern School of Business, noted that he was looking at Alibaba stock from the perspective of a long-term investor, not a…

    CNBC
  • SHOE COMPANY: Our CEO Just Disappeared And Most Of The Money Is Gone

    "and like that: he's gone." This is an actual headline from a company press release: "CEO and COO disappeared, most of the company's cash missing." (Via FastFT) In a statement, German-based shoe company Ultrasonic said its CFO,  Chi Kwong Clifford Chan, has been unable to reach the company's CEO,…

    Business Insider
  • Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, BHP, GE, Incyte, 3M, Tyco, Under Armour and More

    Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, BHP, GE, Incyte, 3M, Tyco, Under Armour and More Stocks were firm on Wednesday morning ahead of the FOMC meeting outcome. Tuesday’s rally may have sparked higher interest again, and investors are looking for bargains

    24/7 Wall St.
  • Billionaire Investor Says Chinese People Work Harder And Western Companies Could Face Deep Trouble After Alibaba IPO

    Michael Moritz, the chairman of VC firm Sequoia Capital, is a huge fan of Chinese internet companies and reiterated his enthusiasm for the Chinese market in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. The billionaire investor described the Alibaba IPO as a “major landmark event” that is as…

    Business Insider
  • Best Womens Wrinkle Creams 2014

    Mom reveals simple wrinkle solution that has researchers very excited. Try this free solution today to look and feel years younger.

    AdChoicesBellaLabs.comSponsored
  • Embraer to sell 50 E-175 jets to Republic in $2.1 billion deal

    Brazil's Embraer SA, the world's third largest commercial planemaker, said on Wednesday it booked a firm order from U.S. The deal, which will be included in Embraer's order book for the third quarter, is valued at $2.1 billion, the planemaker said in a securities filing. The planes will be operated…

    Reuters