MIDTERM MADNESS

GOP's Boost Hangs on Tea Party

It may seem marginal, and even downright ridiculous at times, but the Tea Party is having a significant effect on the Republican Party. Wingnuts or not, they are proving a vital element of the GOP’s push toward November. According to a new series of surveys by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University, Tea Party supporters are the most involved and are working the hardest to convince friends and neighbors to vote next month. Asked if they were interested in the midterm elections, 74 percent of Tea Party supporters said they were, while only 22 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of Liberal Democrats answered that they were more interested in this election than in 2008. That is why President Obama and Vice President Biden are spending much of the next three weeks on the road, trying to stir up interest. But among Tea Partiers, support is not a problem. Not only are they more likely to vote than their Democratic counterparts, but 26 percent of them said they would also attend a political rally.