Monday, June 24, 2013

Did the IRS put Obama back in the White House?

During the few months prior to the 2012 elections, I remember thinking that the presence and momentum generated by the Tea Party for the 2010 mid-terms was surprisingly absent.  Well, in light of the astonishing revelations about the IRS intentionally and specifically targeting Tea Party organizations, it seems reasonable to wonder if this systemic intimidation accounts for the massive decrease in Tea Party influence from 2010 to 2012.  As it turns out, economist Stan Veuger did more than just wonder -- he actually did some research on this issue and reported his findings on the American Enterprise Institutes's blog.  Here's an important take-away from Veuger's work, as reported by Peggy Noonan in a recent WSJ post:
More: “The bottom line is that the Tea Party movement, when properly activated, can generate a huge number of votes—more votes in 2010, in fact, than the vote advantage Obama held over Romney in 2012. The data show that had the Tea Party groups continued to grow at the pace seen in 2009 and 2010, and had their effect on the 2012 vote been similar to that seen in 2010, they would have brought the Republican Party as many as 5-8.5 million votes compared to Obama’s victory margin of 5 million.”
Noonan's WSJ piece is, as always, perceptive, direct, and valuable.  Read it for yourself, here.