The Tea Party in Local Politics

27 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2014

See all articles by Jeffrey M. Berry

Jeffrey M. Berry

Tufts University

Kent E. Portney

Texas A&M University - George Bush School of Government and Public Service

Robert Joseph

Tufts University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 14, 2014

Abstract

Since 2009 the Tea Party has disrupted and deeply influenced American politics. The force of the movement has been felt not only in the three election cycles since then, but also in the development of public policy. One area where Tea Party influence has been said to be significant is in the area of environmental sustainability. As local governments have moved toward adopting environmental measures aimed at promoting sustainability, there have been some cases where local Tea Parties have emerged as aggressive and strident opponents of related policy changes. How widespread this behavior has been is unclear. In this paper we look broadly at the Tea Party movement across the country and systematically assess its influence in urban America. Based on evidence we’ve gathered for a number of different databases, we find that the Tea Party has not had a measurable impact on city policymaking in the area of sustainability. Moreover, we find that local Tea Party chapters generally have very limited organizational capacity to engage in advocacy. Across 50 large American cities, our findings indicate that the typical Tea Party chapter is at best a modest presence in local politics.

Suggested Citation

Berry, Jeffrey M. and Portney, Kent E. and Joseph, Robert, The Tea Party in Local Politics (October 14, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2510028 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2510028

Jeffrey M. Berry

Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Kent E. Portney (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - George Bush School of Government and Public Service ( email )

TAMU 4220
1004 George Bush Dr West
College Station, TX 77843
United States

Robert Joseph

Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

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