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Nate Silver: ‘Tea Party’ Has Outlived Its Usefulness
FiveThirtyEight ^ | 05/23/2014 | Nate Silver

Posted on 05/23/2014 9:06:24 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Here’s a familiar-seeming political tale. An incumbent Republican senator, from a famous political family and with a long history of moderation, is challenged by an upstart candidate in the GOP primary. The upstart is a successful entrepreneur turned talk-radio host and small-town mayor with a reputation for slashing spending and fighting unions; the Club for Growth endorses him. The Republican establishment rallies to the incumbent’s side. Karl Rove works for the incumbent; Mitch McConnell and John McCain stump for the incumbent. In the end, the incumbent wins, but barely. Then the incumbent goes on to lose to the Democrat in November in a race that may have tipped the balance in the Senate.

You might assume that this story refers to something from the 2010 or 2012 election cycles, when — so the narrative goes — tea party candidates caused all sorts of grief for the Republican establishment and potentially cost the GOP control of the Senate. But the details don’t quite fit any election in those years. Instead, this is the story of the 2006 Republican primary in Rhode Island. Lincoln Chafee was the incumbent; Steve Laffey was the upstart; Sheldon Whitehouse was the Democrat who beat Chafee that November, when Democrats took control of the Senate, 51-49.

With McConnell having defeated his challenger, Matt Bevin, in the Republican primary in Kentucky this week, there’s been a lot of talk about whether the influence of the tea party is waning. According to a series of mainstream media accounts, McConnell “crushed” the tea party in “the latest big beat” for the movement, which is “losing steam” as the economy improves.

(Excerpt) Read more at fivethirtyeight.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: elections; teaparty

1 posted on 05/23/2014 9:06:24 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Tea Party is hot and heavy in an all important race in Mississippi.

this is what we call transparent, int the way that it is supposed to deflect but looks so contrived it’s transparent, like a little kid, dragging a chair across the kitchen floor expecting to not be found foraging for forbidden food.

Nate, though, is an adult, and a well respected, in some circles, journalist and essayist.

It’s crazy.


2 posted on 05/23/2014 9:09:21 AM PDT by stanne
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To: SeekAndFind

He’s right. It’s time to move into the next phase of securing a decent country for our kids.


3 posted on 05/23/2014 9:10:05 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: demshateGod

What’s the next phase? Outright rebellion?


4 posted on 05/23/2014 9:11:31 AM PDT by x1stcav ("The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.")
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To: SeekAndFind
The TEA party ain't a political party.

The TEA party is anybody who has come to the conclusion that the feral government is out of control to the point that it has become evil, and needs to be reined in and pruned back.

5 posted on 05/23/2014 9:12:37 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: demshateGod

Basically, if our Republican Senator acts like a conservative, he will never have to worry about the Democrat. Problem is once the Senator becomes a democrat, he gets what he deserves.


6 posted on 05/23/2014 9:12:59 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz ("Heck of a reset there, Hillary")
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To: SeekAndFind

Bunk.

The Tea Party is the future.


7 posted on 05/23/2014 9:13:12 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: SeekAndFind

Nate Silver has no idea of what the ‘Tea Party’ is.


8 posted on 05/23/2014 9:13:40 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: SeekAndFind

No, it’s the Republican Party that has outlived its usefulness.


9 posted on 05/23/2014 9:14:33 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: TomGuy

“Nate Silver has no idea of what the ‘Tea Party’ is.”

Actually, after reading the article (which is relatively fair), I get the sense that Nate Silver knows more about the Tea Party than politicians like Mitch McConnell do.


10 posted on 05/23/2014 9:16:11 AM PDT by BlueStateRightist (Government is best which governs least.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“Nate Silver: ‘Tea Party’ Has Outlived Its Usefulness”

Nate’s got to say something to get back in the good graces of the RATS since he predicted losses for them in Nov.


11 posted on 05/23/2014 9:17:32 AM PDT by kenmcg (b)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Actually, Silver agrees with that assessment. In reading the article he is saying that the “Tea party” is really a part of the GOP and that calling it a separate Party is pretty meaningless now. He is not saying that conservative influence is meaningless.


12 posted on 05/23/2014 9:18:31 AM PDT by RIghtwardHo
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To: SeekAndFind

HA...he WISHES....


13 posted on 05/23/2014 9:19:00 AM PDT by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods.)
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To: x1stcav
The next phase is the first phase of rebellion. Basically, abandon all hope of winning our arguments in DC.
14 posted on 05/23/2014 9:19:48 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

the “TEA party” is a set of convictions to certain principles and values that transcends politics as usual-

like liberty, personal freedom, respect for Constitutionally based law, individual responsibility and distrust of bureaucracy that has demonstrated its contempt or fear of all of the above

It is never going away.

It may change names

Give it a strong leader to build a national voice and look out

a politician who doesn’t “get it” does not share those convictions and values

nuff said


15 posted on 05/23/2014 9:21:33 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age takes a toll: Please have exact change)
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To: SeekAndFind

The tea party is a freaking state of mind you moron.


16 posted on 05/23/2014 9:22:44 AM PDT by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: SeekAndFind

My, my. People are falling all over themselves lately to declare the death of the Tea Party.

To paraphrase Mr. Clemens, the reports of its death are greatly exaggerated.


17 posted on 05/23/2014 9:22:53 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: SeekAndFind
I don't believe that what he means by "Tea Party" is what we mean by the word. There never was a "party" in the sense that there was central funding, a list of "Tea Party"-branded candidates, and central direction. The victory whoops currently emanating from the media are as phony and contrived as the Coffee Party turned out to be.

There was, and remains, a broad, deepening grassroots resentment of the politics currently being inflicted on the American public by a self-proclaimed elite that has arrogated to itself the ideological direction of the country and will brook no opposition. That was annoying when it consisted merely of sneering within the media; now in power it is far more than that, it is totalitarian and deadly.

The gaps in the wall aren't going to be papered over by reassurance that establishment, elitist Republicans are in any sense a counterweight to establishment, elitist Democrats. They have proven to be co-conspirators.

And so the "Tea Party is dead!" triumphalism has a very hollow ring to it. It was never really alive as they define political life, but that doesn't mean it has gone away.

18 posted on 05/23/2014 9:22:54 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: SeekAndFind
Then the incumbent goes on to lose to the Democrat in November in a race that may have tipped the balance in the Senate.

The failure of the Republicans in that election was that they failed to raise the alarm on all the election fraud that occurred. Not that Atty General Holder would have done anything about it, anyway.

19 posted on 05/23/2014 9:24:09 AM PDT by Rapscallion (Obama stands for the corruption of America in all aspects.)
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To: TomGuy
Nate Silver has no idea of what the ‘Tea Party’ is.

Actually, Nate's pretty spot-on here. The Tea Party isn't a proper noun "Party" but rather a collection of ideas represented by many smaller organizations and individuals who may or may not agree on candidates and policies.

20 posted on 05/23/2014 9:29:15 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: x1stcav
What’s the next phase? Outright rebellion?

Yes. The Founding Fathers endured much less before the first shots were fired.

21 posted on 05/23/2014 9:30:48 AM PDT by Jagdgewehr (It will take blood.)
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To: SeekAndFind

‘Tea Party’ Has Outlived Its Usefulness

I think we heard similar words from Prime Minister Lord North in 1774.

It took a few more years back then to see it through. It will be the same today. We may lose several battles, but we will lose the war if we quit.


22 posted on 05/23/2014 9:35:01 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

I think a lot are pushing amnesty so they can drop it as a final FU on the way out the door.


23 posted on 05/23/2014 9:35:07 AM PDT by Bogey78O (We had a good run. Coulda been great still.)
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To: kenmcg
Nate’s got to say something to get back in the good graces of the RATS since he predicted losses for them in Nov.

Being correct in his prediction of trends and elections is more important and valuable to Silver than being liked by his fellow liberals.

24 posted on 05/23/2014 9:35:21 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: SeekAndFind

Yea believing that I am over taxed and the government wastes 80% of my tax money has “outlived it’s usefulness”.
Kiss my ass Nate


25 posted on 05/23/2014 9:41:43 AM PDT by mowowie
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To: Drew68
Actually, Nate's pretty spot-on here. The Tea Party isn't a proper noun "Party" but rather a collection of ideas represented by many smaller organizations and individuals who may or may not agree on candidates and policies.

Agree 100%. People are too quick to attack this article as anti-conservative. It's definitely NOT. READ the article.

He's just saying the term "tea party" has outlived its usefulness, especially given that since it's not really a political party at all. It now means a thousand different things as a result. Nebulous terms & labels without structure are not useful for a movement. IMHO he's right - ditch the "tea party" label.

26 posted on 05/23/2014 9:41:56 AM PDT by MCH
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To: SeekAndFind

Yet another druid full of himself exaggerating the demise of a permanent fixture to the political landscape.

The Tea Party is not one group, not even a few groups. It is an expression of the will of the grassroots and will never go away until the GOPe is thoroughly cast out and into the camp of democrats where it comes from.

Yes, the GOPe will lose elections in November because the Tea Party base will not support it, democrat victories not withstanding. It may take another one or two election cycles for the GOPe to be neutered, but it will happen. They cannot survive without the Tea Party but the Tea Party can survive without them.

To understand using an apt historical analogy, there is a two-front war going on, the Tea Party vs. the GOPe and the Tea Party vs. the democrats, similar to the second world war where a pacifist USA was drawn into a two-war front with the Germans and Japanese.

In the second world war, the top US military brass spent the first two years fighting each other over issues of money and resources more than they spent hot war fighting against the real enemies. But once the effort was organized and focused, the US war machine ran the enemy machine aground and starved it into submission.

The same is happening in the two-war front that the Tea Party is engaged with. When the time comes that its fund raising and candidate selection are more focused and more efficient, it will run the GOPe out of business and breach the barriers of democrats and their media.


27 posted on 05/23/2014 9:47:59 AM PDT by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: SeekAndFind

Hmmm... every week for the last 6 years there’s an “end of the tea party” column.


28 posted on 05/23/2014 9:53:21 AM PDT by Fido969 (What's sad is most)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Right on. Tea Party is not a group, it is in our heart of hearts and will show up at the ballot box...and if the ballot box can’t be trusted then I believe the tea party WILL become a formal group and the chips will fall where they may.


29 posted on 05/23/2014 9:54:42 AM PDT by kiltie65
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To: SeekAndFind

If that was true why do they fear it so mush?.


30 posted on 05/23/2014 9:56:49 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: demshateGod; Jagdgewehr

Then I’m well up on the curve. But I’m getting old. I hope to live long enough to see how this all turns out. We need to get started.


31 posted on 05/23/2014 10:09:15 AM PDT by x1stcav ("The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.")
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To: Drew68

Yep.
Amazing the people who know nothing of the math behind statistical sampling on both right and left who act like they know more than an expert in the field.
As with others from my previous profession, being accurate in ones’ predictions matters far more than the ideology of who wins. When I was a pollster, I’d much rather do an accurate and useful survey for a dem than tell a rep what they wanted to hear. Or vice versa. Pollsters are like pitchers or batters - the team only matters at the moment, what counts is the stats. Nate isn’t perfect, but if this was baseball he’d be a 300+ batter.

Ideology doesn’t matter, only accurate numbers. A pollster would rather predict within a percentage point or two, a landslide for someone they hate than screw up a poll for someone they love.


32 posted on 05/23/2014 10:28:34 AM PDT by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, deport all illegal aliens, abolish the IRS, DEA and ATF.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s good to let the enemy think that we have gone away.
That way when the Socialists lose big in the 2016 election it will be a surprise attack!


33 posted on 05/23/2014 10:30:36 AM PDT by PATRIOT1876
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To: SeekAndFind

If this country is going to change for the better it has to be done at the county and state level. The tea party people are stronger at this level. Little change towards reestablishing the original intent of the Founders is not coming out of DC.


34 posted on 05/23/2014 10:31:40 AM PDT by pleasenotcalifornia
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To: SeekAndFind

According to a series of mainstream media accounts, McConnell “crushed” the tea party.


Right. The most powerful Republican in DC had 40% of his home-state Republicans voting against him.

And that’s “crushing.”


35 posted on 05/23/2014 11:31:19 AM PDT by Freeping Since 2001 (Since 2001. Seriously.)
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To: MCH

> “IMHO he’s right - ditch the “tea party” label.”

And replace it with what?


36 posted on 05/23/2014 12:58:48 PM PDT by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: Hostage
And replace it with what?

How about nothing at all.

37 posted on 05/23/2014 1:06:09 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: MCH
IMHO he's right - ditch the "tea party" label.

Personally, I think it's silly. Say the words "Tea Partier" and in the minds of those who don't post on Free Republic is the image of some beer-bellied white guy wearing camo and/or a tri-cornered hat and waving around a Gadsden flag, --an image that sends moderate suburban voters fleeing, --the very voters who decide elections.

38 posted on 05/23/2014 1:12:39 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Hostage
And replace it with what?

Conservatives, limited government proponents, whatever.

39 posted on 05/23/2014 1:13:12 PM PDT by MCH
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To: Drew68

Thumbs up.


40 posted on 05/23/2014 1:25:03 PM PDT by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: MCH

Nope.


41 posted on 05/23/2014 1:33:55 PM PDT by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: SeekAndFind

Nate: The TEA Party is in a war with the GOPe. In any war, battles are won and lost.. the Tea Party is here for the long run and it’ll take years like other wars.


42 posted on 05/23/2014 1:44:53 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: RedStateRocker
My doctorate is in statistics. My thesis chair was the former chair of statistics department at the U. of Chicago and was a long time colleague and personal friend of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman.

Pollsters are like pitchers or batters - the team only matters at the moment, what counts is the stats.

No, you're wrong. It depends on what stats (context) and at what moment. In baseball, all that should matter is winning the World Series. Everything else is secondary including stats. Not even runs scored is an important figure. A World Series can be won with 4 runs in 4 games and that's a pathetic figure in total runs.

There's plenty of history where a team with lesser stats wins the World Series. And there are many explanations for this such as the league the winners came from and the annealing process of statistics experienced from such league.

Nate isn’t perfect, but if this was baseball he’d be a 300+ batter.

Ken Griffey Jr and ARod were once together at the same time on the same team and were consistently 40+ home run hitters with well over 300 batting averages in same seasons for the Seattle Mariners, yet the team finished in the cellar if not close to it. Statistics only have meaning in context.

In the case of Silver's remarks concerning the Tea Party, the remarks are not statistical, they are merely remarks of an observation of irrelevance to the political process based on nebulous definitions, categorizations, and outcomes. His remarks could be characterized by the quote coined by some politician as a "nothing-burger". The only thing that sticks out is the title, and it is devoid of serious analysis or purpose, not to mention its false inference.

Michael Barone was once upon a time a star prognosticator and diviner of political outcomes. He's since crashed and burned. Statistically we can say he had a nice run. But his run could have been a random draw based on a universe of methods; in other words his models were false but surprisingly correct. All models are false but some are useful

Silver really hasn't had much more success than other prognosticators. Based on historical records and demographics, the same results have been produced by many contemporaries to Silver.

The real statistic to watch that is relevant to Silver's foul title is the number of times those in the media have professed the death of the Tea Party.

43 posted on 05/23/2014 6:39:35 PM PDT by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: Hostage

I will defer to you :-) My comments about pollsters in general is more about the fact that the ones I’ve known and worked with would rather be right than be ideologically correct. Good points all, Nate could just be lucky. Time will tell.

Regards, and thanks for an enlightening post.


44 posted on 05/23/2014 8:26:30 PM PDT by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, deport all illegal aliens, abolish the IRS, DEA and ATF.)
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To: RedStateRocker

> “Good points all, Nate could just be lucky.”

No, he’s not lucky, he’s just using data and methods that are easily used and have been used by others.

It’s a bit like someone who can point north without a compass, lots of people can do that, even high school students.

Silver is just better at marketing his name.

Statistically what he is doing is not impressive, innovative or new. Do a search of political pollsters and you will find many others that use basically the same data and methods with maybe a small tweak here and there, an adjustment for a special factor etc. but all reach pretty much the same conclusion.


45 posted on 05/24/2014 8:43:39 AM PDT by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: silverleaf

You nailed it. I’m very active in our Tea Party. We’re not going away.


46 posted on 05/24/2014 11:06:18 AM PDT by Loud Mime (arguetheconstitution.com Check it out.)
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To: TomGuy

He has no innate idea but he’s a reasonable guy. I am mixed on Nate Silver’s analysis.


47 posted on 05/24/2014 11:13:30 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: ExCTCitizen

I have watched the stories seesaw in the press: First round of primaries we lost, then we won the next, then we lost again. Keep watching. You are right.

Most important point, made by many others, is that the ideas are winning.


48 posted on 05/24/2014 11:25:30 AM PDT by firebrand
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To: Drew68

What is true for the image of the tea partier is true in general during election season: The pictures that people hold in their minds are so very important, especially with an uninformed electorate. When voters thought of Bevin, the first thing that popped into their mind was a cockfight.

Our candidates are relatively inexperienced, but they just have to remember that less is more. When you’re on the national stage, you can’t just say whatever you think of or do whatever seems like a good idea at the time.

They have a saying in Brooklyn: Don’t talk unless you’re going to gain something by it.


49 posted on 05/24/2014 11:32:33 AM PDT by firebrand
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To: Hostage

“Lucky” in the sense of, as you say, marketing himself well. Just like the most famous singers are not necessarily the best- technically competent and professional. The pollster profession is an interesting one; thought I wanted to do it at one time and worked all sorts of parts of several gigs, polling outfits, TV stations. As with legislative aid, the other thing I explored, just too many weird hours and irregularity in employment for me.


50 posted on 05/25/2014 7:41:11 AM PDT by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, deport all illegal aliens, abolish the IRS, DEA and ATF.)
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