As Sen. Rand Paul and other Tea Party-associated congressmen and politicians continue to make hay, many outsiders are keeping an eye on how the Tea Partiers’ voting bloc may impact the presidential election of 2016. Whether Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Scott Walker actually run for the position, their rise to prominence will most certainly be felt in the race, says Policy Mic’s Zack Brown:
In a mere 18 months, we will begin to see candidates announce their intention to seek the nomination, but we will also witness the incredible influence the Tea Party has over the Republican base. Whether it is defunding Obamacare, preventing a debt limit hike, or ending foreign aid to countries like Egypt, election spectators can be sure to see both Tea Party and Republican establishment backed candidates take positions on issues important to the Tea Party, and build electoral résumés that are likely to attract enough Republicans to win the nomination and the general election.
We’re already seeing that play out now, with a number of Congressmen swinging towards Paul’s stance on foreign aid to Egypt: that the more than $1 billion the U.S. sends there each year should be cut off. Even though just weeks ago, many of those Congressmen were opposed to such a move.
Part of the shift for 2016, Brown argues in his piece, is electability. The establishment ticket didn’t make a dent in 2012, and figuring what went wrong – and how to fix it – will be crucial in the next presidential election.
Many in the party believe it will be by expanding their base of existing voters, but the party’s base argues that victory can be achieved simply by turning out already-dedicated GOP voters . This is where the Tea Party, long thought to be dead, comes into play…If the primary season continues with the party infighting seen today, one can expect contentious fiscal and foreign policy issues to be brought up on the debate stage.
Those are two areas that elected officials like Paul are quite clear on. Taxes, health care, government spending, the military, international engagement. Everyone knows where Paul stands on those issues, and his strong support (nearly $2 million in fundraising through the first half of 2013, if you haven’t heard) suggests that his message is hitting a chord with many Americans.
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