Ah. No gawd knows why we bothered w/ page two after the above, but it's good we did. We can only assume that the typist behind this piece (See bio below.) is on the outs w/ the "Washington-based organizations" that astroturf some of the Tea Party outfits, 'cause he's begging for spare change.But the polls are missing one key ingredient: the intensity of feeling and the level of determination* among the 28% of American adults (66 million people) who consider themselves part of the tea party or are supportive of it. To these people, 2012 is not “just another election.” It is the defining political battle of our lifetime.
Most of these 66 million tea partiers will vote in November. But they will do much more than vote. They will also make unprecedented personal sacrifices in time and money to help get out the vote. To a person, these 66 million Americans believe that if Barack Obama is re-elected, the constitutional republic as we know it will be destroyed. They are determined not to let this happen on their watch.
Only the tea party has the enthusiasm and manpower to get out the vote for Mitt Romney, but it’s financed by the spare change found in the couches of local leaders. Nonetheless, as the critical role it played in the 2011 Republican takeover of the Virginia State Senate proved, the tea party is very effective.
The big question is whether wealthy conservative donors will wake up to face the political realities and help local and regional tea party groups finance get-out-the-vote efforts. To date, they have ignored the tea party, giving their donations instead to organizations that are more interested in building their own brands than in building effective local get-out-the-vote capabilities.
But conservatives around the country should take heart because that’s an unlikely scenario. As we’re beginning to see, conservative donors are finally realizing that the scope of the conservative victory in November will be determined by the level of financial support they provide to local grassroots conservatives. They understand that when it comes to political return on investment, local tea party groups provide the biggest bang for the buck.
Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the “Voices of the Tea Party” e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and ElectionDayTeaParty.com. His new book, “Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement,” was published by Broadside Books in March 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.
*"Our troops are better than theirs. And our votes count more, too."