Tea Party Influence: A Story of Activists and Elites

Bailey, Michael A., Jonathan Mummolo, and Hans Noel. 2012. "Tea Party influence: A story of activists and elites." American Politics Research 40(5): 769-804.

37 Pages Posted: 29 Feb 2016

See all articles by Michael Bailey

Michael Bailey

Georgetown University - Department of Government

Jonathan Mummolo

Princeton University

Hans Noel

Georgetown University

Date Written: January 1, 2012

Abstract

Understanding how the Tea Party has affected congressional elections and roll call voting helps us understand not only an important political movement, but how movements affect politics more generally. We investigate four channels for the movement to influence political outcomes: activists, constituent opinion, group endorsement activity and elite-level self-identification. We find consistent evidence that activists mattered both electorally and for roll call voting on issues of importance to the movement. Constituent opinion had virtually no impact on either political outcome. Group endorsement activity had possible effects on elections, but mostly no effect on congressional voting. Self-identification among elites did not enhance — or harm — Republican electoral fortunes, but did affect congressional votes important to the movement. These divergent results illustrate how movement politics can influence outcomes through multiple channels and call into question the usefulness of the "Tea Party" moniker without important qualifiers.

Keywords: Tea Party, Congress, elections

Suggested Citation

Bailey, Michael and Mummolo, Jonathan and Noel, Hans, Tea Party Influence: A Story of Activists and Elites (January 1, 2012). Bailey, Michael A., Jonathan Mummolo, and Hans Noel. 2012. "Tea Party influence: A story of activists and elites." American Politics Research 40(5): 769-804.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2739254 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2739254

Michael Bailey (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Department of Government ( email )

ICC, Suite 681
Washington, DC 20057-1034
United States
202-687-6021 (Phone)
202-687-5858 (Fax)

Jonathan Mummolo

Princeton University ( email )

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

Hans Noel

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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