With Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, all having announced campaigns for president, the 2016 presidential primary election is on everyone’s mind. Many, from both sides of the political aisle, are itching to see if grassroots organizations and movements like liberal Moveon.org and the Tea Party will once again factor into the political equation.
Moveon.org is well funded by its liberal base, as are the conservative groups Americans For Prosperity and Freedomworks.
But since the rise of the Tea Party in 2009, when the movement helped usher in the likes of Rubio in 2010, and then Cruz and Paul in 2012, as well as a slew of other like-minded conservative politicians, it seems as if it has fizzled out a bit.
There is no question that the Tea Party has lost steam, mainly because of what Senator Marco Rubio once called the co-opting of the movement by groups, who looked to corral the explosive energy of the American grassroots.
The movement, for the most part, has turned into a splintered bunch of rag-tag local groups, led by those simply vying to pound their chest and garner attention and accolades for organizing and heading their respective monthly Tea Party meetings.
So, has the Tea Party lost its punch over the past two election cycles?
Some will say it has, but many others will contend that it is still a vibrant and viable, yet more organized movement.
Even though the movement seems to have slowed down, politicians are still looking for Tea Party support, especially the current field of announced Republican presidential candidates, who as we mentioned, won their Senate races because of the efforts of the American grassroots or Tea Party movement.
While the “three amigos” in the Senate continue to mold their presidential campaigns and vie for Tea Party support, others like former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, are also singing the praises of the Tea Party, as they too position themselves to run for president in 2016.
The former CEO hopes that the Tea Party will “play a large role” in 2016, adding that she believes in the movement and agrees with their ideology:
What is it that Tea Party people believe? They believe that government is control, they believe the government is too costly, powerful, to corrupt. I agree with them.
Fiorina added that she believes that the “weight” of the federal government is crushing the potential of the nation. She plans to make a decision about running for president by the first week of May.
So, of all the so-called “Tea Party” Republican presidential candidates, who will be able to garner the bulk of the grassroots support in 2016?
Will it be Rubio, Cruz, Paul, or could an outsider like Fiorina swoop in and steal the show?